Local News

Wake sheriff unsurprised by Jason Young lawsuit

Posted November 5, 2008
Updated November 6, 2008

— Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says he is not surprised by a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the husband of a Wake County mother found slain inside her home two years ago this week.

"It's something I felt was coming," Harrison said Wednesday, "and my reaction is, I think it was due and the right thing to do."

Michelle Young's mother, Linda Fisher, filed the lawsuit last Wednesday against her son-in-law, Jason Young, saying "he brutally murdered" her daughter.

Five months' pregnant with her second child at the time of her death, Michelle Young was found lying face down in her bedroom on Nov. 3, 2006. Her then-2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, was unharmed at her side.

Investigators have named no suspects and have generally declined to comment specifically about the case over the past two years.

Jason Young, however, has been a focus of investigators in search warrants for the couple's home, possessions, his family members' homes and surveillance video from a Virginia hotel where he told investigators he was when his wife was likely killed.

Affidavits also state he talked with authorities the day his wife's body was found, but has otherwise been uncooperative with investigators.

Despite two years and no arrests, Harrison says the case is still an active investigation and is something "we hope to bring to some resolution pretty quickly."

"We want to bring some closure to it on our side, and we want to bring some closure to it on the family's side," he said. "If we could make an arrest tomorrow, it would tickle me to death, but unfortunately, we just have to take our time and play with the cards we are dealt."

In Fisher's suit, which was sealed until Tuesday, she asks that Jason Young be barred from collecting any insurance benefits from his wife's death and be ordered to pay funeral expenses and compensation for her daughter's "horror, pain and suffering" caused by the defendant's "fatal assault."

Fisher's attorneys, Jack Michaels and Paul Michaels, said Wednesday their client wants to make sure Cassidy, now 4, is the sole heir to Michelle Young's estate.

They said they feel confident they have the evidence to prove their case and will rely heavily on information developed in the criminal investigation.

Since his wife's death, Jason Young and Cassidy have moved to western North Carolina, where his family lives.

His attorney, Roger Smith Jr., had no comment on the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon. Jason Young's mother, Pat Young, also declined to comment.

Just how the civil case could affect the criminal investigation is unclear.

"I don’t think it will hurt anything," Harrison said. "Will it help? That part, I don't know."


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  • familyfour Nov 5, 2008

    The only agenda I see the mother having is trying to find out if he did this or not. How horrific would it be for that child to be raised by the man she may have seen kill her mother? How unjust would it be for him to live his life, and she not allowed to live hers, if he did it. I won't even mention the other child, okay, there, I did. I don't know what happened to her, but if there is evidence against him, he should have to get in the hot seat and anti-up. If he didn't do it, and had nothing to do with it, then he shouldn't have a thing to be concerned about.

    I don't know anyone who wouldn't do this, if it's what it took to get answers.

  • darlenehodges1 Nov 5, 2008

    I don't know Jason Young personally, but I do know some of his family and I believe he is not guilty...others need to pray for him and his families regardless of the outcome.


  • leo-nc Nov 5, 2008

    oops, someone already posted what I said on my last.. I guess I should have read through them all first.

  • leo-nc Nov 5, 2008

    "Maybe I just don't get our judicial system...but how can you hold somone who has not been convicted of something...ie...OJ...guilty in a civil trial for basically the same thing?"--

    Because in a civil case all you need is to prove that the defendant was negligent as shown by a preponderance of the evidence. All this means is that the jury must find the plantiff's evidence more convincing than the defendant, even if slightly so. The scale only has to tip slightly in the plantiff's favor for the trial to be won and the defendant found responsible. This is much less than establishing a defendant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In order for the jury to find the defendant guilty in a criminal case, they must be convinced by proof of such convincing character that a reasonable person would not hesitate to rely and act upon it in the most important of his or her own affairs. The reasonable-doubt standard in criminal cases is constitutionally required. Not so in a civil case.

  • Mrs Pig - Sassy Cowgirl Nov 5, 2008

    "be ordered to pay funeral expenses" What a sorry piece of poo that did not even pay her funeral expenses. I hope he gets what he deserves. GREAT strategy on Mom's part. Look what the the custody battle shook lose in the Cooper case...this ought to shake some evidence or perjury lose enough to take this case to trial.

  • n2justice Nov 5, 2008

    It's not what you know; it’s what you can prove.

  • twinkletoes Nov 5, 2008

    down by the pond: very well stated!!! I cannot wait until the day that Jason has to take the stand. Dooms day is coming!

  • down by the pond Nov 5, 2008

    From one post , it appears that michelle's mom paid for the funeral and headstone,,, is that correct?
    I do not feel any ill will to the mom about the lawsuit, in fact , i think it is a great strategy on her part....
    A civil trial is a great way to break folks down,,,, his behavior is that he wants to avoid/ not cooperate. This will make the guilty squirm,,,,
    I don't think she has money on her mind,,, i think she has the big picture in mind and this is a way to get there,,,

  • anti-Hans Nov 5, 2008

    Clintoflanagan - I do not beleive this is about money. I posted earlier it is about finding guilt, putting pressure on him. I personally believe she could care less about the money. She just wants justice.

  • SouthernLady05 Nov 5, 2008

    "What's different about this one?-clintoflannagan"

    Very different. The family stands to get $0. Matter of fact, they'll probbably be in the red once they pay for lawyers bills and such. They are only suing to insure the daughter of Michelle Young gets all of her money... not the husband. This is rightfully so. It'll make sure that the little girls college is paid for, etc. Otherwise, Jason Young is free to blow through his murdered wifes life insurance.

    WCSO is working very hard on bringing this case to trial. Jason Young better not think for ONE Second that he's off the hook. They'll get him, and when they do... they'll be no arguing.

    Lets end the moriturm on the death penalty in time for him... please.