Local News

Jason Young pleads not guilty in wife's slaying

Posted May 19, 2011
Updated May 20, 2011

— A Raleigh man charged in the beating death of his pregnant wife nearly five years ago pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge during his arraignment Thursday afternoon.

Jason Lynn Young, 37, was arrested in December 2009 on a first-degree murder charge in the slaying of Michelle Young, 29, who was five months' pregnant when she was beaten inside the couple's Wake County home on Nov. 3, 2006.

He has maintained that he was out of town on business when she died.

Jury selection is expected to begin May 31, and the trial is expected to last approximately one month. Prosecutors have indicated that they will not seek the death penalty.

Also on Thursday, Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens delayed ruling on a defense motion to block the testimony of Gracie Dahms, a convenience store clerk in King, N.C., who says she sold Jason Young gasoline on the morning of the crime.

King is approximately 120 miles from Raleigh and 45 miles from Hillsville, Va., where Jason Young told investigators he was sleeping when, Dahms says, he came into her store between 5 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. (View a map)

Wake County sheriff's investigators believe that Jason Young checked into a hotel on the night of Nov. 2, 2006, and then drove back to Raleigh and killed his wife.

Defense attorneys say they believe detectives violated procedures when questioning Dahms. Stephens said he would rule on the matter after hearing from her Friday morning.

Jason Young Jason Young May 19, 2011, pre-trial hearing

Several investigators testified that they spoke with Dahms on multiple occasions and that each time, she was confident that the man she encountered was Jason Young.

Lt. Scott Ikerd said Dahms told him that Jason Young got "very agitated" and angry that the gasoline pump was turned off and that she had to activate it.

"She said (that) she was almost positive, and she remembered this only because of his attitude and because he was not a regular customer of the business," Ikerd said.

"(She said) that he was irate, that he cussed at her, threw a $20 bill at her," Sgt. Richard Spivey testified. "(He) stood out because of the way he acted when he came in the store."

Investigators haven't offered a motive for the killing, but in search warrants, they have described the couple's marriage as a "volatile" relationship that included violent arguments and infidelity on his part.

In 2009, a judge awarded Michelle Young's family $15.5 million in damages in a wrongful death suit against Jason Young after he failed to respond to the suit.

Michelle Young's sister, Meredith Fisher, has primary custody of the Youngs' daughter, Cassidy, who was 2 years old when she was found in the same room with her mother's body.


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  • dollibug May 20, 2011

    ++++How can that testimony be omitted?? If that can be omitted, then everything bad about Brad Cooper should have been forbidden as well. You can't have a trial that never tells the full story - good or bad - about both sides and if you have a witness that says she saw him, she should be allowed to testify. We slam the SBI for not coming forward if they knew evidence didn't point to something but yet we'd allow the defense to keep someone from coming forward?

    I think it just "depends"....on whatever the judge wants to allow....I guess TIME WILL TELL....TIME WILL TELL....TIME WILL TELL ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS....

  • dollibug May 20, 2011

    +++++I do not believe Judge Stephens will let in anything like the gossipy tale-bearing that passed for testimony in the Cooper case.

    Well....I guess this judge and Magoo went to different law schools....and perhaps learned different court procedures...or perhaps this info is also at the discretion of the judge in charge? Could be....you think?

  • dollibug May 20, 2011

    Some of these stores have videos in them...so I wonder if this store had one....and did the store clerk pick this man out of a lineup...most of these places are really very busy....with many, many people coming and going....I just hope that there is SOLID PROOF here....I totally agree....a cash receipt does NOT prove anything.....

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 20, 2011

    The cash receipt doesn't prove he was there.

    It just proves a cash transaction for gas occurred.

    If it had been a credit card receipt, that would be different.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 20, 2011

    A fun game would be to get everybody who frequents a convenience store over an 8 hour period and see how many people the clerk can identify at the end of the shift.

    My bet is that the clerk wouldn't be able identify most of the customers.

    Makes you wonder.

    Another done deal in the Wake County Superior Court.

  • anti-Hans May 20, 2011

    Thanks Jody, glad someone remembered. At the time she took off her seat belt, the car mysteriosuly plunges off the side of the road and down a cliff. No seat belt, she flies out and the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.

    Off to plan B.

  • jody4663 May 20, 2011

    Just an FYI, I have also followed this case closely back to when it happened. Anyone remember the mysterious car accident where he pretty much tried to kill her in the accident? - anti-Mako II

    Recently, when the case was mentioned on WRAL, I looked at some of the documents associated with it and I read that he asked her to reach into the back seat for something, she took her seat belt off, and at that time the car swerved. She lost the baby. Sorry, can't remember exactly where I read it and I don't have time to research it now. It may have been in an affidavit by a family member.

  • VoiceMatters May 20, 2011

    dogwonder, I believe the sole purpose (not the arguement) of the "Gas Receipt" chatter is not the actual buying of the gas & how much he paid for it, per say, but the location of him buying it at that particular gas station either will or won't place him at a location where he said he wasn't.

  • GOPACK80 May 20, 2011

    The gas record came from the cash register records. He prepaid with $20 cash and pumped only $15. He left and did not bother to get his $5 change.

  • dogwonder May 20, 2011

    *Just an FYI, I have also followed this case closely back to when it happened. Anyone remember the mysterious car accident where he pretty much tried to kill her in the accident? - anti-Mako II

    just found this:
    "They just wanted to know the circumstances and if I saw anything unusual with the wreck, which I did not," said sate Highway Patrol trooper David Hicks, who investigated the crash.