Judge postpones Jason Young's second murder trial
Posted September 15, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — A Superior Court judge has delayed the retrial of Jason Young, accused of beating to death his pregnant wife inside their Wake County home nearly five years ago.
Judge Donald Stephens issued an order Wednesday afternoon, moving Young’s second murder trial from October to at least January after the court reporter assigned to the case was unable to meet a deadline to produce a transcript from the first trial to prosecutors and Young's attorneys.
Stephens said the delay has to do with the workload demands of the Wake County court system, the vacancy of a court reporter position and a jury selection process that is expected to take longer than normal because of media coverage of the first trial.
Attorneys, who could decide on a new trial date at a routine status hearing later this month, agreed with the decision to postpone.
"I think it's the prudent thing to do," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Becky Holt said. "We want everybody to be ready with the retrial – both sides."
Young, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 3, 2006, death of Michelle Young, 29. She was found dead in the upstairs bedroom of their home south of Raleigh.
Stephens declared a mistrial in Jason Young's first trial in June after a jury became deadlocked in reaching a verdict.
Jason Young testified that he was out of town on business and had no involvement in his wife's death.
Prosecutors, however, argued that he checked into a Virginia hotel the night before and drove 169 miles back to his home, killed his wife and drove back to the hotel because he did not want to be married.
Michelle Young's sister discovered her body and the Youngs' 2-year-old daughter, who was unharmed, inside the home after getting a voicemail from Jason Young asking her to go to the home to retrieve some documents from a fax.
Defense attorneys argued that someone else, possibly two people, killed Michelle Young, noting DNA evidence found inside the house didn't match Jason Young and that there was no physical or circumstantial evidence implicating him.
Jason Young is out of jail awaiting trial on a $900,000 secured bond.