Michelle Young

Day care teachers recall doll play by Youngs' daughter

Posted February 20, 2012

— Jurors in the retrial of Jason Young heard testimony Monday from day care teachers who watched his 2-year-old daughter playing with dolls and re-enacting her mother's beating death six days after the crime.

Brooke Bass Jason Young retrial (Day 11)

"I noticed her playing with two dolls and a chair and the doll house," said Ashley Palmatier, who worked five years ago at Country Sunshine Children's Center in Raleigh. "She was striking one doll with the other doll and the chair, and she told me, ‘Mommy has boo-boos all over her.’"

Palmatier and Brooke Bass, another teacher, described one doll as being female with brown hair in a ponytail. Cassidy Young referred to that doll as "mommy."

The other doll was of an older woman with short, light-colored hair. She was wearing a purple jumpsuit. The child never identified that doll.

"While she was hitting the doll, she said, 'Mommy's getting a spanking for biting,’” Palmatier said. "Then, when she laid the doll down is when she said, 'Mommy has boo-boos all over. Mommy has red stuff all over.'"

Cassidy Young was found hiding under the covers of her parents' bed on Friday, Nov. 3, 2006, when her mother Michelle Young's body was found facedown in blood in the second-floor master bedroom of their home at 5108 Birchleaf Drive in Raleigh.

Jason Young, 37, was arrested three years later in his wife's death. His first trial ended in a mistrial last summer after the jury could not reach a verdict in the case.

He has said that he was out of town at the time of the crime and had nothing to do with her death.

Palmatier and Bass were not called as witnesses in Jason Young's first trial.

Michelle Young Home Video Still Teachers recall doll play by Youngs' daughter

Defense attorneys on Friday objected to their testimony, but Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens allowed it, instructing jurors Monday that they could only consider it in determining whether Cassidy Young saw the crime.

They can't, however, use the testimony as evidence of the person who caused Michelle Young's death, Stephens said.

The teachers, as well as Stephanie Giles – a teacher at Country Sunshine who also babysat for the Youngs – testified that Cassidy, at the time, was advanced for her age, that she knew her numbers, colors and alphabet and was fully potty-trained during the day.

"She was a very, very bright little girl," Palmatier said. "Every Monday, during our circle time, we would have a chance for the kids to tell us what they did over the weekend. She would recount in full detail what she did, where she went and who she was with."

She was also very social and loved playing with her friends, but after returning to school the Monday after her mother's death, she was withdrawn.

"Usually, she was always playing with one or two other kids, but she kept to herself," Palmatier said.

Jurors also heard Monday from Beth Whitney, a computer forensics examiner with the City-County Bureau of Identification, who testified that she found searches on the Youngs' home computer for the terms "anatomy of a knockout," "head trauma blackout," "head blow knockout" and "head trauma."

Whitney, however, was unable to determine when the searches were made or who made them.

During his first trial, Jason Young admitted to searching for the terms to find out if he could have done more to help a car wreck victim earlier that year who appeared to have injuries to his head.

Defense attorneys say Michelle Young's killer has never been caught. There's no physical evidence linking their client to the crime, and they say it's not possible for Jason Young to have committed it in the time that the state contends he did.

Jason Young has said he was sleeping in a Virginia hotel at the time of the crime, but prosecutors claim he drove home in the middle of the night, killed his wife and returned to the hotel.

Monday marked the 11th day of testimony. If convicted, Jason Young faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.


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  • fromageball Feb 21, 2012

    "One witness describing a wrestling match (inwhich she ended with a headlock maneuver on Jason) doesn't meet the mark here.dogwonder"

    Heh...I haven't been able to watch for the past couple of days but this testimony would be very telling. Also he was in a good mood when he saw Shelley/Michelle right before he left and was talking about Crcker Barrel. What, did he suddenly get murderously angry during the drive to Hillsville, VA?

  • itsmyownopinion Feb 21, 2012

    "...OK? So Cassidy was found at 1. Ok? Clean, Shockingly Clean!!...Any logic left out there? If so, let's hear it!! If not, charges dropped! Because, if you can't LOGICALLY explain this, you don't believe the state's theory."

    Interesting, but I don't have a reasonable explanation for you.
    I've written a couple and deleted because I don't want to be
    slammed to the ground for saying it. I'm not following as closely as some, maybe most. Until fairly recently I thought MY was found early morning, not early afternoon. The one thing in the 911 call that struck me was the sister asking, "Should I
    try to help her?" If she had been dead all those hours I would have thought it would be obvious she was beyond help. On the other hand, if she were my relative, I would have probably rushed in and grabbed her -- maybe not. I think we don't know until it actually happens to us. Sorry I had to delete most of your message to fit my answer into the number of characters.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Feb 21, 2012

    Looking at Jason Young, I'm still trying to figure out how gets all of these women to sleep with him.

    Especially those who knew he was married.

    Michelle Money was a piece of work sleeping with her sorority sisters husband.

    This guy needs to write a book on how to get women to sleep with you.

  • Curious 2012 Feb 21, 2012

    Jason's testimony is just to "cute"/friendly/chatty....not sure how to describe it. Aha, maybe the term is: so·ci·o·path   [soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-] Show IPA
    noun Psychiatry .
    a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 21, 2012

    Jason Young should be smart enough and not take the stand ever again. He has said all he should have said the first time. If they did not get it, reread the script.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 21, 2012

    Just because a child played with a doll does not tell me anything that the father killed his mother. What are you people instilling in this child head? Its so wrong. Why are her grandparents allowing this? Jason Young is innocent and the prosecutor cannot even prove that he even killed his wife.

  • canucmypointofview Feb 21, 2012

    Well...no need for Jason to take the stand THIS time..

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Feb 21, 2012

    "Hi DontLikeTheSocialistObama: Do you have any idea what a socialist is or do you just repeat what you have heard without ever thinking? Do you have any proof? - joyroney"

    No more proof than what those who think Jason did it have.

  • dollibug Feb 21, 2012

    +++++The question thus becomes who is the real criminal mastermind? Jason Young or the Wake County prosecutors?

    GOOD POINT........

  • dowebb Feb 21, 2012

    I've seen some posts about this but yet to hear a logical explination. For the state's theory to be true and Jason was in King at 5:30, he would have to gone from the house by 4-4:15. OK? So Cassidy was found at 1. Ok? Clean, Shockingly Clean!! That's NINE hours folks!! Nine hours. Some of you have said' "oh she was potty trained" or "she was drugged". NONE of that is a logical explination for her being so clean!! One at the time. 1.She's potty trained, alright, if I give you that, how did she get off the bed to go to the potty and not get any blood on her?? Yeah... 2.She was drugged. Ok, we know that she slept in pull-ups so she couldn't sleep and hold it. I assume ya'll mean she was SLEEPING while she was drugged. And there was NO waste to be found anywhere!! Shockingly clean! Nine Hours!! Any logic left out there?? If so, let's hear it!! If not, charges dropped!! Because, if you can't LOGICALLY explain this, you don't believe the state's theory.