Ex-fiancée had volatile, violent relationship with Jason Young
Posted February 16, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — A Texas woman testified Thursday in the retrial of Jason Young that she had a volatile relationship with him when they were engaged in 1999 and that he became physically violent with her on several occasions.
Genevieve Cargol recounted a fight the two had in a Texas hotel room on an afternoon in December 1999 when, she says, Jason Young attacked her in an effort to get back his engagement ring.
"He grabbed me by the arms and threw me down on the bed with such force that it stunned me," Cargol, who attended North Carolina State University with Young, said. "He grabbed my arm so tightly that it left bruises."
He threw her face in the bed, she said, and at one point, he pinned her arms with such force that it felt like her shoulders were going to come out of their sockets.
Young, 37, is on trial for a second time for first-degree murder in the Nov. 3, 2006, death of his pregnant wife, Michelle Young, who was found dead in the couple's Raleigh home. A medical examiner testified last week that she suffered at least 30 distinct blows, maybe more, mostly to her head.
Young’s first trial ended in a mistrial last summer after a deadlocked jury couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.
He has denied killing his wife, saying he was out of town on business when she was killed, and defense attorneys say there's no physical evidence linking him to the crime.
They contend that he was far from being a good husband – describing him as "juvenile" and an "obnoxious jerk" who made sexist remarks – but that he loved her, their daughter and their unborn son.
The defense has noted several times during the course of his trial that no one ever reported Jason Young ever being physically violent with his wife.
Cargol's testimony Thursday painted a different picture of Young. There were two other occasions that Jason Young became violent, she said.
He had once punched out the windshield of her car after a concert when he found out a man walked her home from a bar one night, Cargol said. Another time, he punched a hole in the wall of his apartment when Cargol found a letter from a childhood friend professing her love Jason Young.
But it was that day at the hotel in 1999 that Jason Young attacked her, she said. He had been in a drinking competition at lunch, and Cargol was upset because, she said, he usually treated her badly when he drank.
"We had, quite honestly, a pretty volatile relationship, and when he was drinking – I hate to say this – but it always ended badly for me," she said.
That afternoon, he had just awakened from a nap, Cargol said, and seemed fine. When she brought up lunch though, she said, he became agitated.
"I don't remember verbatim what was said," she continued, "I remember his body language. Something in him was changing, and I was asking him some questions, and he said something to the effect of, 'If I'm going to make such a terrible husband, give me back my ring.'"
The 20-minute struggle in the hotel room left her with bruises on her arm and rib cage and a cut on her hand where the undersized ring had been, she said.
"The fight was so scary, not just because of the violent part," Cargol said. "His eyes were completely empty and deserted and glazed over. It was like he wasn't seeing me, and I wasn't seeing him. I felt like he was a completely different person.”
Two weeks later, Cargol said, she broke off the engagement, but the two remained in an on-again, off-again relationship. She moved away about a year later, severing all ties with him and even going as far as to block his emails from coming into her email account.
"I just didn't have any self-esteem left anymore," she said. "I thought I was a strong woman. What kind of woman stays with a man that treats her this way? It took a huge toll on me. The magnitude of it all settled in, and I realized I had to change it all."
Cargol said she felt like she "had made a mess" with my life and that she was "in this dark hole that I just couldn't climb out of."
The account was reminiscent of testimony last week in which Michelle Young's mother described her daughter, once happy and full of life, as being "totally void of life" as a result of the Youngs' marriage, which was plagued by arguing.
A week before her death, Michelle Young had also sought counseling, a therapist testified, in an effort to "get her life and herself straightened out."
Also testifying Thursday was Carol Anne Sowerby, a longtime friend of Jason Young, and Michelle Money, a Florida woman with whom Jason Young was having an affair in the month prior to his wife's death.
Sowerby said she stayed at the Youngs' home for several days during a business trip in October 2006.
"I never met Michelle. I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet the family and his daughter, so we kind of arranged that," she said.
But when she arrived, Michelle Young was out of town for business. Two nights into her stay, a tearful Sowerby said, she and Jason Young ended up having sex on his couch.
Michelle Money, who was also Michelle Young's sorority sister at N.C. State, said she had a sexual relationship with Jason Young and had seen him a month before Michelle Young's death.
After a September 2006 visit to the Youngs' home in which Money shared concerns with Jason Young about her marriage, Money said, the two began talking daily. In October of that year, he visited her at her home, while his wife thought he was on a guys' weekend beach trip.
"We just spent a lot of time talking and hanging around the house," Money said. "We ended up having an intimate relationship while he was there."
"Were you actually engaged in an affair with the defendant?" Wake County Assistant District Attorney Becky Holt asked.
"Yes ma'am," Money replied.
After that weekend, the two agreed that their relationship couldn't go any further.
"We didn't have a future, and we needed to go back to being friends," Money said.
Still, they regularly talked on the phone, through text messages and emails about their lives, work and kids.
Money had suggested they see each other the weekend his wife died, but Jason Young said he couldn't. He had a business meeting on Nov. 3, 2006, and then had friends in town that weekend for a football game, Money said.
When she talked to him the night before that meeting and the morning of it, "it was normal Jason," she said on cross-examination.