State News

NC high court weighs new trial for Jason Young

Posted May 19, 2015

— North Carolina's highest court is considering whether a Raleigh man convicted of killing his pregnant wife should get a new trial.

The state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the Jason Young case.

The state Court of Appeals said last year that the trial judge shouldn't have allowed evidence about a wrongful death lawsuit and child custody complaint before his 2012 first-degree murder conviction.

The trial judge had declared Young responsible for his wife's death after he failed to respond to the civil claim. The default judgment did not declare innocence or guilt in the killing.

Young is serving a life sentence for the death of his wife, Michelle. She was five months' pregnant in 2006 when her bloody body was found in their bedroom with their unharmed 2-year-old daughter.

In the hearing Tuesday, prosecutors argued that the civil claim didn't prejudice jurors against Young.

"This marriage was in shambles," attorney Dan O'Brien said. "The defendant was sleeping with other women, including one in the house a week and a half before the murder. The defendant abused Michelle verbally. He said all his problems would be solved if he could just have a woman on the side. He felt trapped.

But defense attorney Barbara Blackman said allowing jurors to hear about the civil claim could set a dangerous precedent.

"It does pose this threat that the criminal justice system is going to be used as the pawn for those who are financially able or willing to institute civil litigation prior to the filing of criminal charges.

The Supreme Court could take months to reach a decision. If they allow the appeals court decision to stand, the criminal case would be sent back to Wake County Superior Court for a retrial.

"We appreciate very much the Supreme Court looking at this case,"Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said. "This case is of course is a very serious case. We will continue to fight for justice for Michelle Young."


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  • William Patterson May 19, 2015
    user avatar

    this guy has already cost the tax payers many ,many thousands of dollars ...i am all for someone being assumed innocent until proven guilty....he is guilty in my opinion and based on how easily this fellow seems to betray those that cared about him and the lies he was caught in I don't think we need to waste any more time or money on this creepy guy .

  • Kristi Bobbitt Coley May 19, 2015
    user avatar

    he seemed to be a sleaze ball, but i always thought one of his chicks or even the sister did it....i dunno.

  • Fred Garner May 19, 2015
    user avatar

    Guilty - past, present and future.

  • Janet Scott May 19, 2015
    user avatar

    Oh please, not this guy again. Give it up Jason.

  • Lightfoot Williams May 19, 2015
    user avatar

    All I want to see is the EVIDENCE that PROVES he did it. When are they going to show that? Don't need the rest of the circus.

  • Amy Kunkle May 19, 2015
    user avatar

    Rhetorical question: When did common sense leave the judicial system? The 3 things that should matter are: #1 evidence, #2 hard facts, and #3 common sense. People lie/exaggerate/fabricate, so testimony isn't included.