Michelle Young

Juror dismissed over Web posts in Jason Young retrial

Posted January 26, 2012
Updated January 27, 2012

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— A Superior Court judge on Thursday dismissed a juror after concerns that he had been posting on an Internet message board about the high-profile trial of a Wake County man accused of killing his wife.

Defense attorneys for Jason Young on Wednesday told Judge Donald Stephens about the postings in which two users wrote that they were among a pool of potential jurors.

One of the users was selected for the jury, the other was not.

The juror, Drew Rogers, admitted to Stephens Thursday that while he was in the jury pool he posted on the message board comments, like "LOL, we're going to be the worst jurors ever" and "confirming we are trying to drink our way out of jury selection," but that he stopped after he was called for service on Jan. 17.

At the time, Rogers told Stephens, he was joking and didn't think anything of the posts and never had any intention to talk about the case.

"I can be impartial," he said.

Stephens told Rogers that it was important for jurors to be unbiased and to appear unbiased to the public so that people don't lose faith in the justice system.

"The perception will destroy your integrity and the integrity of the process," Stephens said. "Do you think you should serve as a juror on this case in light of that?"

"Probably not, given the severity," Rogers replied.

Jason Young Jason Young juror dismissed over Web postings

"The public expects that we pick the best jurors, not the worst jurors," Stephens said before dismissing him.

Hart Miles, an attorney who isn't connected to the case, said social media should be central to the conversation with potential jurors.

"The judge will issue lots of warnings to the jurors, but sometimes things get said and communications are had that you can't un-ring that bell," Miles said.

Stephens cautioned two jurors chosen earlier Thursday about not talking about the case or exposing them to news accounts, blog and social media postings about the case.

"These systems may inadvertently be used to expose you to information about the case," he said. "Isolate yourself. People will understand. You must remain separate, detached, unbiased."

Eleven jurors are still seated in the case. Attorneys must now choose the final juror, as well as at least three alternates. Opening statements are scheduled for Feb. 6.

Young, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 3, 2006, beating death of 29-year-old Michelle Young, who was found on the floor of a bedroom in the couple's Wake County home.

He was charged in December 2009 and initially went to trial in June. Stephens, however, declared a mistrial after jurors couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.

Testifying during his trial, Young denied any involvement in the crime, saying he was out of town when it happened.

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  • fromageball Feb 1, 2012

    "And now, what will do the trick is getting him to stumble on testimony from his first trial."jackcdneh1017

    Don't worry, the prosecutor did such a bad job of questioning him in the first trial that it's doubtful they really got anything useful from it. If you didn't see it you should watch it - it's not very long because they clearly did not anticipate Jason testifying.

  • Vanilla Skye Jan 31, 2012

    Ingie Jones, another Jury just bit the dust.

    Contempt charges on this one.

  • Vanilla Skye Jan 31, 2012

    Oh no !!!

    Another juror was just dismissed for talking about the case.

    The guy is innocent to begin with !

    NOT GUILTY !!

  • jackcdneh1017 Jan 31, 2012

    @solarflare "That's one of the ways they got BC last year using his recorded deposition in the custody case"

    And you are in favour of this method of prosecution? There exists zero actual evidence to convict this man. There is physical evidence that points away from Jason Young. There is an alibi that makes the possibility that he did this as a minimum somewhat difficult. But there are all kinds of "gut feelings" and "crime of passion" theories that would allow you to confidently have this man put to death or be imprisoned for life. And now, what will do the trick is getting him to stumble on testimony from his first trial. It is my sincere hope that you or someone you know or love will face law enforcement or prosecution in this state under these loaded circumstances. Of course you won't, because you are in law enforcement and the state backs you up.

  • jackcdneh1017 Jan 31, 2012

    @justice4my I appreciate your feelings that you would try to help police if your spouse was found beaten to death. Please re-think your stance on this issue. Please examine the case of Brad Cooper THOROUGHLY and you will learn exactly why your best course of action is to say nothing, do nothing, and to hire a lawyer as soon as you can. As the surviving spouse, you absolutely are the number one suspect, often to the exclusion of all other possibilities. In the Cooper case, you will find that NO other options were even considered. You are finding Jason Young guilty for having sound legal advice.

  • Ingie Jones Jan 30, 2012

    @VanillaSkye,

    I was not too concerned about them being able to find a impartial jury in this case til now. FWIW I think that they need to start from scratch again. How much of a impression this this potential juror leave on the the remaining jury pool?

  • dogwonder Jan 30, 2012

    @ tigress.. Sounds to me like you're all for guilty until proven innocent. Unless the defense can prove the "theories" are impossible , they're screwed. Nevermind the utter lack of ACTUAL evidence linking someone to the crime.
    This is backwards. As if the accused has to provide video evidence of their alibi to prove what they weren't doing. Sad that so many are so willing to slit their own throats.
    The Cooper trial was the same. No evidence- no justice. When they have none, all they have to do is come up with something they think cannot be disproved. The herd is too easy to lead to slaughter.

  • tigresspen Jan 30, 2012

    justice4my- I think he is guilty as charged. LE made the trip several times and showed it could be done for him to have done so and committed the crime. If the shirt he was wearing (that was shown in the birthday party picture in court) is the actual shirt from that night then due to what I heard I feel it was hidden somewhere. IIRC that shirt nor the jacket or shoes were in his suitcase when he arrived at Michelle's sister's home and LE confiscated his suitcase. I just hope a jury has been seated that can look at the evidence and reach a just verdict for Michelle and her unborn child.

  • Catriona Jan 27, 2012

    Anyone reading those message boards or whatever they are, need to know that the average person does NOT know what the heck they are talking about. Who has all day to sit on some board and post stuff to make this guy look guilty? Follow these 3 things The timeline round trip is 6 hours. Impossible for him to do. They found no blood in his car like reported in the warrant, and no signs he had been at the crime scene.

    NOT GUILTY - Vanilla Skye

    You'd be surprised at the people who sit around all day and post stuff about this case, mimikat.

  • justice4my Jan 27, 2012

    I knew Jason and Michelle. When I heard of her passing, I never thought Jason at first. But after all the evidence that came together, there is not a bone in my body that doesn’t think he had something to do with it. I am married....can someone please tell me if you would be willing to not help police if your spouse was beat to death, and child left there if you were 100% innocent? If I were innocent, covering myself would be the least of my worries...and I don’t think I would hang up the phone on the Investigator on the day that she died? Would you? More like bending over backwards to HELP!!!! police.
    As sad as this case is, justice needs to be served. Lets hope the jury puts it together.

    This passion crime on a random Thursday night…are there really people out there that think 2 strangers did this, with nothing looking like a real robbery? Once last question – All those Jason supporters, where do you think that dark jacket disappeared to that he was seen wearing on the hote

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