Jury selection begins for Jason Young retrial
Posted January 16, 2012
Updated January 17, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — The second trial for a 37-year-old man accused of killing his pregnant wife more than five years ago got under way Tuesday in a Wake County courtroom with prosecutors and defense attorneys selecting jurors to hear the case.
Jason Lynn Young is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Michelle Marie Fisher Young, who was found beaten to death in her home just south of Raleigh on Nov. 3, 2006.
He was arrested in December 2009 and went to trial in June, but a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict, forcing a judge to declare a mistrial.
During his first trial, Jason Young testified that he was out of town on business when his 29-year-old wife, who was five months’ pregnant with the couple’s second child, was killed.
The state, however, contended that the couple argued frequently and that he didn't want to be married.
He checked into a Virginia hotel on the night of Nov. 2, 2006, and drove 169 miles back to his home, killed his wife and drove back to the hotel, prosecutors claimed.
Michelle Young's sister found her face-down in the couple’s bedroom the next day and also found their 2-year-old daughter unharmed and hiding beneath the covers of her parents’ bed.
Defense attorneys argued that someone else, possibly two people, killed Michelle Young, noting DNA evidence found inside the house didn't match Jason Young.
There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, his attorneys said. He didn't have time to commit the crime, and even circumstantial evidence showed that he didn't do it, they said.
Jury selection in Young's first trial lasted 5 ½ days, but Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens has said that he expects it to be several weeks this time because of extensive media coverage.
Opening statements are tentatively scheduled for Feb. 6, and testimony, which lasted 11 days during the first trial, could last as long as six weeks.
Jason Young, meanwhile, is out of jail on a $900,000 secured bond. If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.