Local News

Jason Young asks for public defender

Posted December 15, 2009
Updated December 17, 2009

— A District Court judge on Tuesday denied bond for a man facing a first-degree murder charge in the beating death of his wife more than three years ago.

Wake County sheriff's deputies arrested Jason Lynn Young, 35, Monday in Brevard, where he has been living since his wife's death. Michelle Young was found dead inside the couple's Wake County home on Nov. 3, 2006. Their then-2-year-old daughter, also inside, was unharmed.

Dressed in an orange and white jumpsuit, Young appeared calm during his first court appearance and spoke politely and with a soft voice before Judge Jane Gray.

Young told Gray that he could not afford his attorney, whom he retained three years ago following his wife's death. At his request, Gray tentatively appointed him a public defender, pending a review of an affidavit of his financial status.

Monday's arrest, immediately after a Wake County grand jury returned a true bill of indictment, was a shock to many who have waited for years for some resolution in the case.

"None of us could figure out why it was taking so long," said Cathy Buckey, a cheerleading coach at North Carolina State University, where Michelle Young attended college and was on her team.

Buckey said news of Jason Young's arrest flooded her with emotions.

"I was happy. I was sad. I cried," she said. "It was so bittersweet."

Carol Nelson, Michelle Young's manager at Progress Energy, where she worked as a financial specialist, said the news brought her relief and sadness.

"It's tragic, because Michelle's daughter has lost her mother and her father is in jail," she said.

Investigators haven't offered a motive for Michelle Young's death, but search warrants suggest the couple had a "volatile" marriage that included violent arguments and infidelity on his part.

"It's been a long time coming," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Monday of Young's arrest. "But cases like this, it takes time."

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said it was important for the state to have a strong case to take before the grand jury.

"Domestic homicides present unusual challenges in gathering information," he said. "It could have been easier if things had taken a different course, but the investigators were committed to the case."

Calles to Michelle Young's mother, Linda Fisher, have gone unanswered. Meredith Fisher, Michelle Young's sister, was at Tuesday's court appearance but also declined to comment.


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  • Here kitty kitty Dec 15, 2009

    I'm just wondering because I hadn't seen anything about this: was dna testing done to show if he was the father of the unborn baby? I know it doesn't matter but I'm just curious...

  • superman Dec 15, 2009

    Well, it ain't over until the fat lady sings. Three years to get whatever they think they found! I personally think he did it, but three years of turning over rocks. Any personal testimony is sure to be incomplete at best. I dont think they have enough to convict him. Most cases like this the person is charged within a couple days of the crime and this one took 3 years.

  • FE Dec 15, 2009

    For Common Sense Man:

    "Speedy trial or discharge on commitment for felony"


  • Common Sense Man Dec 15, 2009

    "There is such a thing as a speedy trial provision in NC, and once a person is indicted the clock definitely starts ticking."

    I've certainly never seen it.

  • Common Sense Man Dec 15, 2009

    "This pretty much tells me they didnt want to risk trying to get a warrant or even risk a Probable Cause hearing. Its much simpler to go to the Grand Jury where your testimony is not challenged or rebutted!!"

    When's the last time you saw anyone get an arrest warrant following an extensive investigation?

  • KniftyKnitter Dec 15, 2009

    After serving jury duty last year, I can appreciate the sheriff's office making sure they dot all their i's and cross all their t's. Frankly, some jurors are idiots!

  • Jh5230 Dec 15, 2009

    This guy didn't previously flee because he actually believed that he had gotten away with the crime. Now he has every reason in the world to flee. Much like Scott Peterson in California, the judges understand that these men have everything at stake, so it's important to make sure they are not allowed bail.

  • concerncitizen Dec 15, 2009

    An innocent man can't get bond, but a murder gets out in 5 years! What a silly state!

  • concerncitizen Dec 15, 2009

    No bond. Why? He's been out for 37 months, if he were going anywhere, he'd be gone? Maybe he's not guilty!

  • DrJ Dec 15, 2009

    We all want to see justice here, and it seems like a slam dunk. But believe me when I tell you Judge Gray can mess this up. I hope she isn't the one presiding over this case.