Nine jurors seated in second Jason Young murder trial
Posted January 23, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Attorneys in the second trial of a man accused of beating his pregnant wife to death more than five years ago had seated nine jurors in the case as of Monday morning.
Jason Young, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Michelle Marie Fisher Young, who was found beaten to death in their 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.
Jury selection began Tuesday in Young's retrial with a pool of 75 potential jurors.
Prosecutors ask each prospective jurors about their exposure to coverage of the case and whether they can put aside any preconceived notions in order to serve.
Prosecutors also ask prospective jurors if they watch any TV crime dramas, whether their religious beliefs would prevent them from passing judgment and whether their lives have been touched in any way by domestic violence.
Once the state has selected 12 potential jurors, defense attorneys then have the chance to interview them and excuse up to six in the entire jury selection process.
The process continues until the state and defense have agreed on the full complement of 12 jurors and a number of alternate jurors yet to be determined. So far, five women and four men have been seated.
After deliberating for more than 12 hours in Young's first trial, the jury of seven men and five women appeared to be leaning toward an 8-4 not-guilty verdict.
During more than two weeks of testimony, the state contended that the Youngs' marriage was strained because Jason Young didn't want to be married or have children because the responsibility conflicted with a bachelor-like lifestyle that consisted of an affair, football tailgate parties, drinking and partying with friends.
Young, who was among the 48 witnesses to testify, said he was out of town when someone else killed his 29-year-old wife and that he had no involvement in the crime.
But prosecutors claimed that he checked into a Virginia hotel, drove 169 miles back to his home, beat his wife to death and drove back to the hotel.
Defense attorneys argued that two people could have been involved in the crime, pointing out that DNA evidence found inside the house didn't match Jason Young and that he didn't have time to commit the crime in the timeframe laid out by the state.
Opening statements in the retrial are tentatively scheduled for Feb. 6, and testimony could last as long as six weeks.
Young, meanwhile, is out of jail on a $900,000 secured bond. If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.