Michelle Young

State paints Jason Young marriage as troubled

Posted February 6, 2012

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— Prosecutors getting their second chance to try a Raleigh man on a first-degree murder charge in the brutal beating death of his pregnant wife, Michelle Young, described his marriage as being in trouble in the weeks and months prior to her killing.

Meredith Fisher Jason Young retrial (Day 1)

Jason Young's first trial ended in a mistrial last June after a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict in the case.

During her opening statement Monday morning, Wake County Assistant District Attorney Becky Holt told jurors that those marital problems, in part, stemmed from Jason Young, 37, not being ready for a life that included two children, and that had become an increasing source of friction between the couple.

Michelle Young, 29, "wanted the white picket fence, the home, the family" – an idea to which her husband was resistant, Holt said.

"He was the free spirit. The adventure lover. The irresponsible. The immature. The life of the party. The jokester. The salesman," she said.

"According to friends and family members, he was stuck in the college life," she continued. "He would go to parties. He would get drunk … He wanted to do things with the guys."

There were also other problems in the marriage.

Tension between Jason Young and his mother-in-law was often the source of conflict as the couple prepared for the birth of their second child, Rylan.

Jason Young Retrial begins for Jason Young

Michelle Young had talked about her mother moving in with them to help care for the children, but Jason Young adamantly opposed the idea, Michelle Young's sister, Meredith Fisher testified.

"It was strained, at best," Fisher said of the relationship between her mother and brother-in-law. "They did not get along. He did not want her in the house."

Fisher testified that she often served as an intermediary between her sister and Jason Young, sitting with them to get them to talk about their marriage and their issues.

"Just a little fight would turn into silent treatment for days. They didn't know how to get along," she said. "I can think of more times that they fought than they got along."

Jason Young trial recap Young Trial recap: Day 1

Jason Young also complained about a lack of sex in the couple's marriage, Fisher testified, and Holt said he had been having an affair with his wife's sorority sister.

Two months before his wife's death, she said, he had reached out to an old girlfriend in an email in which he described her as the love of his life.

Two days before her death, Holt said, Michelle Young confided to her sister about a fight in which her husband had thrown the TV remote control at her and was giving her the silent treatment.

"She told Meredith, 'I'm done,'" Holt said.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Becky Holt State's opening statement

It was on Nov. 3, 2006, that Fisher found her sister in a pool of blood in the master bedroom of the couple's home.

"It was a brutal, personal beating," Holt said.

Michelle Young suffered at least 30 distinct blows to her head, and an autopsy revealed that someone had also tried to strangle her.

Cassidy Young, the Youngs' 2-year-old daughter, was hiding beneath the covers of her parents' bed.

"(Fisher) found little footprints by Michelle Young who lay facedown on the floor of her bedroom. Little footprints in blood around Michelle's head," Holt said. "She found baby dolls – a baby doll by Michelle's head, another baby doll in the bed. A blanket. And she heard Cassidy say, 'Mommy got boo boos.'"

Defense attorney Mike Klinkosum Defense's opening statement

There were no signs of forced entry. Aside from Michelle Young's wedding rings and two drawers from a jewelry box in the bedroom, there was nothing missing from the home.

The state contends that Jason Young, a medical software salesman at the time, had left for Hillsville, Va., on the night of Nov. 2 and checked into a Hampton Inn hotel but drove back to Raleigh to kill his wife.

He never asked about the murder investigation and never talked about the case. He refused to answer questions from investigators, family and friends. In fact, Holt said, he gave up custody of his daughter and defaulted on a wrongful death lawsuit to keep from doing so.

Jason Young finally spoke, she said, 1,693 days later, when he testified in his first trial – a move some attorneys say likely played into the jury being unable to reach a verdict – and it's evidence that Holt said jurors in his second trial will get to hear.

During the defense's opening statement, attorney Mike Klinkosum didn't dispute the state's claims about the Youngs’ marriage but said Jason Young did not kill his wife and that prosecutors weren't telling the whole story.

"I am not here to tell you that he was a good husband. He was far from it," he said. "You are going to hear about sexist remarks, juvenile behavior. You are going to hear that he acted like an obnoxious jerk."

The state's case, he said, although full of emotional evidence, lacks any physical evidence tying Jason Young to the crime.

"This puzzle that the prosecution talked to you about – Jason does not fit into it," he said.

There were DNA and fingerprints in the home, including evidence from the jewelry box, that match neither Jason Young, his wife nor more than 100 other people associated with the case.

There were bloody shoe prints, Klinkosum said, that the state could not definitively link to Jason Young, and there was no blood found in the downstairs of the couple's house or in Jason Young's SUV.

"Jason Young did not kill Michelle Young," he said. "He did not kill their unborn son, and this case has not been solved, ever."

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  • dollibug Feb 7, 2012

    +++If you didn’t do it, there is nothing you could say that could possibly “get you in trouble”. Was he concerned over mixing up his stories? I don’t get it. He may not have done it with his own two hands, but I believe he knows who did. I hope the state can gather enough evidence to prove so.
    Moonlight

    OMG....I would tell you "some things" that would make your hair stick up....trust me when I say....a "person of interest" should NEVER EVER speak to anyone about anything...."anyone can get you in trouble at anytime"....but "nothing" is going to reveal/prove "nothing"....sooner or later...perhaps you need to go and "sit and observe cases in the courtrooms"....bet you would soon learn a lot...

  • Moonlight Feb 7, 2012

    How does “defaulting” in a lawsuit protect him? If it were me, I would fear not speaking would silently admit guilt. Plus, he didn’t even talk to family or friends about the issue at hand? If you didn’t do it, there is nothing you could say that could possibly “get you in trouble”. Was he concerned over mixing up his stories? I don’t get it. He may not have done it with his own two hands, but I believe he knows who did. I hope the state can gather enough evidence to prove so.

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun Feb 7, 2012

    "It was a brutal, PERSONAL beating," Holt said.

    Michelle Young suffered at least 30 distinct blows to her head, and an autopsy revealed that someone had also tried to strangle her.

  • fromageball Feb 7, 2012

    "He was last seen just before midnight in the lobby, but not again until after 6am. His room key had only been used once. So sorry, no, he was not accounted for."

    Jason doesn't have to account for every second of his time...the prosecutor has to "account" for what they contend.

  • tootiefrootie Feb 7, 2012

    Jason was last seen on surveillance cameras leaving the hotel lobby just before midnight to supposedly have a smoke. There is no video of him returning. However, the surveillance camera at the end of the hallway was unplugged within minutes of his departure. Coincidence? Seen leaving, yet not returning.

  • Lightfoot3 Feb 7, 2012

    "He was last seen just before midnight in the lobby" - solarflare40


    So you're confirming that he was absolutely at the hotel. But the state can't confirm he left.


    "His room key had only been used once." - solarflare40


    We often turn the latch thingy on our hotel door so that we do NOT have to keep using the key.


    My gut tells me he's involved, but the state hasn't proven it for a conviction, in my opinion.

  • odyssey24 Feb 7, 2012

    If I'm remembering correctly from the first trial, I believe JY became uncooperative with regard to Cassidy spending unsupervised time with Michelle's mother and sister once they began saying negative things about him in Cassidy's presence. Isn't that correct? If so, can't say I much blame him...that is, if he's innocent.

  • dogwonder Feb 7, 2012

    new article people

  • Lightfoot3 Feb 7, 2012

    "and he was convicted on a 42 second google search which was NOT proved in court that he did it" - dollibug


    Not only that, but the court unethically (and in my personal opinion, criminally) refused to let his two computer experts testify on this issue. He should win an appeal based on this alone. I google my house and surrounding area all the time.


    "...innocent people should NEVER speak to anyone about anything..." - dollibug


    Bingo!


    Once, when I was young and stupid, I allowed a search of my car because someone falsely accused me of shoplifting. Nothing was found of course, but I could have been easily framed. I have PERSONALLY witnessed a cop shoot a guy then plant a knife on him.

  • solarflare40 Feb 7, 2012

    RE: "There is evidence of Jason being at the hotel, so he is accounted for "

    He was last seen just before midnight in the lobby, but not again until after 6am. His room key had only been used once. So sorry, no, he was not accounted for.

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