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Attorney: Detectives building case around Jason Young

Posted August 19, 2008
Updated August 20, 2008

— A former federal prosecutor says that newly released search warrants in the 2006 murder case of Michelle Young show investigators seem to be building a case around her husband, Jason Young.

"Reading between the lines of the search warrant, he's their primary suspect," Kieran Shanahan said Tuesday.

In affidavits supporting the request for the search warrants, released Monday, investigators state that DNA in blood spatter on a bedroom wall near where Michelle Young's body was found matched Jason Young's.

Shanahan, who is not involved in the case, also points to bloody shoe prints reported at the crime scene, surveillance video from a Virginia hotel of Jason Young coming and going, and a propped-open door that eliminated the need to use a traceable key card.

"Sometimes, circumstantial evidence can be more powerful than direct evidence," he said.

Michelle Young, 29, was five months' pregnant when her sister found her lying face down on Nov. 3, 2006, inside her home at 5108 Birchleaf Drive. Her then-2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, was unharmed at her side.

Jason Young told Wake County sheriff's investigators that he was out of town on business when his wife was killed.

Authorities have never called Jason Young a suspect or person of interest in the case, but in multiple search warrant affidavits, they have characterized him as being unwilling to help investigators.

He talked with investigators the day his wife's body was found and later gave fingerprints under a court order, but has generally been uncooperative, they have said.

From the perspective of a defense attorney, Shanahan said that if he were representing Jason Young, he would urge him not to talk to investigators.

Neither Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison nor Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby would comment on the case Tuesday. Jason Young and Roger W. Smith Jr., a Raleigh attorney who has been representing him, could not be reached for comment.

Harrison has stated in the past that investigators are following up on every piece of evidence and every lead in the case.

"Our society cries out for justice, and unfortunately, our society always wants everything now," Shanahan said. "It takes a lot of pieces, if you will, to be able to weave together a story that will convince a jury."

Michelle Young's mother, Linda Fisher, also declined to talk about the search warrants but said she believes authorities will make an arrest when it is appropriate.

"Everyday that goes by without an arrest is a day too long," she said. "But I'm not a detective. They're putting a puzzle together. When the time is right, an arrest will be made."

53 Comments

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  • BottomLine Aug 21, 2008

    Rumor has it that an arrest will be made this week. Run Jason Run !

  • shortcake53 Aug 20, 2008

    I hope with all my heart that they are able to prove who took this young woman from her child, as well as the life she carried inside. I have always had doubts about Jason, why would he not do everything in his power to find who murdered his wife if he had nothing to hide? He left town immediately and refused to cooperate with authorities, big red flag for me.
    God bless Cassidy and her mother.

  • monkeyboy Aug 20, 2008

    "Grow up, get a life and make an intelligent comment!"

    Sounds like wcnc's got her undies in a bunch again.

    I think Brad Cooper did it. Maybe it was a 'Strangers On A Train' sort of thing between 'em...

  • trh Aug 20, 2008

    This guy is clever, he is also likely a killer. As someone said he could have taped the hotel room door or blocked it in some other way so as not to use the key. What was his excuse for putting a rock to block the outside door? His mistake was not staying at a roadside dive, without security cameras, and paying in cash. Now, it is just a matter of time....

  • mommy2caroline Aug 20, 2008

    I am ready to see who they arrest and how this plays out.

  • I guess I will just type this Aug 20, 2008

    "Yes, it's good to open-minded, but even a person below mediocre intelligence can see.....this guy's guilty!!!!" Gitrdone

    I'm guessing w/ that screen name you're the latter...

  • rlewis Aug 20, 2008

    "I hope they have alot more significant items than is stated in that warrant."

    They do. It's a matter of time.

  • DonnaB Aug 20, 2008

    Here's something else that isn't told in the affadavits: When Jason was seen on camera walking through the hotel lobby, this was supposedly when he had checked in. Was he carrying any luggage, a computer bag, anything at all? When he was seen leaving the hotel by the side door, was he carrying anything?

    If he carried anything into the hotel, was it found there the next day? If not .... why not, particularly if he wasn't seen carrying it out on security photos?

    Are those security photos from a video camera that records continuously, or are these cameras that take still photographs at pre-set intervals? If so, what's the interval? Would it have been possible for him to enter the hotel after midnight but never show up in a security video/photograph?

  • FE Aug 20, 2008

    Someone help me out here:

    Is there ANY proof the husband was ever in the VA motel room AFTER he left the facility after midnight in dark clothes? One would think his room key card would show something - breakfast? go to get some ice? visit front desk? or whatever.

    If not, this motel diversion would be an extremely strong indication of premeditation and a very carefully thought out murder.

    FWIW, I have a REAL problem with the guy hanging up the phone on the police officer who was "informing" him of his wife's death....

  • FullOfId Aug 20, 2008

    Did anyone CONFIRM that he was indeed in Hillsville, VA on business? Sounds a bit fishy to me when you read through the affidavits - he arrived at the hotel at 10:41 pm and was up and out of the hotel by 11:41 am the next day when housekeeping arrived in his room. He was at his mom's house at 3:30 pm which is about 3 hours from Hillsville, VA. What kind of buissness did he do between the hours of 10:41 am and 11:41 the next morning.
    Did the survellance camera catch him re-entering the hotel after they saw him leaving at 11:59?

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