Jason Young refused to talk to police, slain wife's sister testifies
Posted February 8, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — The sister of Michelle Young testified in her former brother-in-law's murder trial Tuesday that she went back and forth between him and sheriff's investigators, urging him to speak to them the night his wife's body was found in the couple's Wake County home.
But Jason Young never did.
"(I told investigators) that he wanted to have an attorney before he would speak to them," Meredith Fisher said.
Expected to take the stand for a third day Wednesday in Jason Young's retrial, Fisher said Young and some of his family members had just arrived at her Fuquay-Varina home after a business trip on the evening of Nov. 3, 2006, when police knocked on her door.
"They wanted to talk to us. They wanted to talk to Jason – to ask questions," Fisher told Wake County Assistant District Attorney Becky Holt.
"What was your response?" Holt asked.
"Ask away," Fisher said.
But Jason Young did not want to, she said. He had been in the bedroom with his sleeping 2-year-old daughter, whom Fisher found earlier that day hiding beneath the covers of her father's bed while her pregnant mother lay dead in a pool of blood on the floor.
"I went back in my bedroom and told him that police were there and wanted to talk to him. He stayed in the bedroom and said, 'No,'" Fisher said. "I went back to the police and said, 'He said no.'"
The back-and-forth went on for some time, she recalled. At one point, she said, the two were on the back porch of Fisher's house talking about what had happened that day.
"We hugged at a point," she said, adding that Jason appeared to be sobbing. "When he pulled away, his face wasn't wet. His eyes weren't bloodshot. I did not see one tear … I left with a bad taste in my mouth after that conversation."
Holt said in opening statements on Monday that Jason Young, even after he got an attorney, never talked to investigators, family or friends about his wife's death and never asked about how the investigation was progressing.
In fact, Holt said, he gave up custody of his daughter to Fisher and defaulted on a wrongful death lawsuit to keep from having to answer questions.
The state claims that Jason Young traveled to Virginia on the night of Nov. 2, 2006, checked into a hotel and left about an hour later left through an emergency exit that he left propped open. He returned home, killed his wife, and drove through the night back to the hotel.
Jason Young finally talked about what he was doing during his hotel stay, Holt said, when he took the stand June 22, 2011, during his first murder trial – a move that some legal experts say contributed to the hung jury that forced a judge to declare a mistrial.
"He answered those questions 1,693 days after his wife's murder. When he answered those questions, what he said was that he did not kill his wife and that when he went outside the hotel, it was for the purpose of smoking a cigar," Holt told jurors. "(After 1,693 days), that is what he tells. How in any way would that have been incriminating?"
Jason Young's defense attorneys say that despite there being no physical evidence linking him to the crime, that investigators "focused on him like a laser" and that because the case "got blown up in the media," that their client "simply shut down and kept to himself."
"He didn't talk to anybody," attorney Mike Klinkosum said during opening statements. "He followed his lawyer's advice."