Michelle Young

State rests in Jason Young murder retrial

Posted February 24, 2012

— Wake County prosecutors, trying for a second time to win a conviction in the 5-year-old murder of Michelle Young, have rested their case against her husband after calling nearly 50 witnesses over the past three weeks.

Mike Schilawski Jason Young retrial (Day 15)

Jurors spent more than two hours Friday reviewing evidence before the state concluded its 15-day presentation.

Defense attorneys will begin presenting their evidence Monday. They told Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens that they expect that process to take about four days.

Jason Young, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 3, 2006, beating death of his pregnant wife, who was found facedown in a pool of blood in the couple's home south of Raleigh.

He was arrested in December 2009 and originally went to trial last year, but it ended in a mistrial when the jury couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.

The state called one witness Friday – family law attorney Mike Schilawski, who represented Michelle Young's family in a custody case involving the Youngs' daughter.

Jason Young murder trial Full coverage: Michelle Young murder case

Schilawski testified that the family initially sought scheduled visitation with the child after Jason Young cut off all contact and then sought full custody when neither side was able to come to an agreement.

Jason Young eventually signed over permanent custody to Michelle Young's sister under the conditions that he would not have to submit to a psychological evaluation or sit for a deposition.

"I would have asked him whether or not he brutally murdered his wife," Schilawski said.

Testifying in his first trial, Jason Young said he couldn't afford a custody fight, but prosecutors contend that he could have but avoided one so that he wouldn't have to answer questions about his wife's slaying.

Defense attorneys questioned Schilawski about the likelihood of a judge awarding their client custody given time constraints, the allegations that he killed his wife and a judgment against him in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Young Trial recap: Day 15 Young Trial recap: Day 15

Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings focused his line of questioning back to the visitation agreement, which was never reached.

"This cost that was going to be involved in all this was because of his lack of agreement, isn't it?" Cummings said.

"We tried to do it the easy and economical way, yes sir," Schilawski replied.

Prosecutors claim that Jason Young didn't want to be married anymore and that he had felt pressured to do so in 2003 when Michelle Young found out she was pregnant with their daughter.

Witnesses testified that the couple had a "volatile" relationship and argued frequently about sex, Michelle Young's relationship with her mother – with whom Jason Young didn't get along – and other issues.

Defense attorneys have conceded that their client wasn't a proper husband, but they say that doesn't mean that he is guilty of first-degree murder.

He could not have committed the crime, they have said, because the state's timeline doesn't fit, there's no physical evidence linking him to it and some DNA samples collected from the crime scene haven't been identified.

Compared with the first trial, the state's case lasted longer and included more witnesses, including two day care workers who said they saw the Youngs' daughter acting out her mother's beating death and a therapist who testified that a tearful Michelle Young sought counseling a week before her death in an effort to straighten out her life.

Prosecutors also focused on Jason Young's testimony from his first trial, in which he talked about what he was doing in the hours before and after Michelle Young was killed.

Jason Young said he was in Virginia on a business trip and asleep at a Hampton Inn, but the state says he drove 169 miles back to Raleigh, committed the crime and drove back to the hotel.


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  • guanzhong cong dong Feb 27, 2012

    Many comments re: ‘absence of evidence’ are improper terminology
    examples include, but are not limited to:

    The absence of victim’s blood outside bedroom other than child’s footprints is circumstantial evidence (CE). Logical conclusion(LC)? Def. changed clothes, to include shoes, in bedroom

    Presence of victim’s blood on inside door handle of kitchen door is CE. LC? Def. had blood on hand(s)

    Water hose found running is CE,
    Absence of blood in vehicle and hotel room is CE. LC? Def. rinsed blood from hands, face, head in back yard

    Absence of cell phone activity between 11:42pm and 7:40am is CE. LC? Def. attempted to conceal whereabouts by not using phone

    Absence of shirt def. wearing when viewed at hotel and
    absence of Orbital shoe victim had purchased matched by style of shoe impression on pillow found beside victim is CE. LC? Def. disposed of clothing worn during commission of crime

    Absence of def. fingerprints on camera is CE. LC? Def. attempted to conceal identity

  • sunshine10581 Feb 27, 2012

    ++Actually, the state just needs CLEAR CUT EVIDENCE....something, anything that does NOT HAVE BIG HOLES IN IT would do....it is the state's responsibility to PROVE that JY is GUILTY of MURDER...period.

    Actually reasonable doubt is in the eyes & ears of the jury. It really doesn't matter what any of us really think.

  • m24s Feb 27, 2012

    dollibug - i believe that the state has presented evidence that shows JY did commit this crime. YOU PEOPLE believe otherwise. and there are folks on these threads that have indicated that mf killed her sister. no evidence to that she just didnt go into hysterics while on with 911. my comment was in regards to every witness by the pros is considered a liar yet jy is as honest as they come. how bout you slow down with the ALL CAPS yelling on the forum. we get your point without all the up and downs in your sentences...

  • abylelab -BT- Feb 27, 2012

    +++Maui - You definitely need to get a job with Wake County SO or Cary PD. You would fit in nicely.

    or at least have guest appearances on "nancy grace"

  • dollibug Feb 27, 2012

    +++There could be video of him killing his wife and because you hate the judical system, you would still say he's not quilty FYI Sherlock

    Actually, the state just needs CLEAR CUT EVIDENCE....something, anything that does NOT HAVE BIG HOLES IN IT would do....it is the state's responsibility to PROVE that JY is GUILTY of MURDER...period.

  • chattycat Feb 27, 2012


    **How do the investigators know what COLOR shoe left the bloody print?** -----------------

    Whatever color JY's shoes were is the color of the shoe that left the bloody foot prints.

    Maui - You definitely need to get a job with Wake County SO or Cary PD. You would fit in nicely.

  • fromageball Feb 27, 2012

    The state has rested and their case this time isn't much different than it was the first time. There is too much missing between the 'dots' the jurors are supposed to connect.

  • dollibug Feb 27, 2012

    ++++I wouldn't have a problem with that if the LEO just showed the pic and said, "We're looking for this man, have you seen him?" If he prefaced that with any reference to the murder, I do have a problem with it. Of course there would come a time when the LEO would have to inform the "witness" why he asked and get her information to call her as a witness.

    IF you have a group of pictures to "PICK OUT A PERSON"....then it would be a lot more "believeable" that you actually saw the person....I have done this....and trust me....it makes a person think really hard about the person that they thought they saw...

  • sunshine10581 Feb 27, 2012

    ++"....and one would have thought that the detective should have known better than to "point to the person he was looking for to begin with"....sounds like they need to go back and get a refresher course on how to solve a crime..."

    If that wasn't legal to do, I'm sure the defense would object.

  • dollibug Feb 27, 2012

    ++++comfortably numb - good post! Amazing to me that all of these folks are lying yet JY is telling the truth and completely innocent!

    THE STATE MUST PROVE THAT JY IS GUILTY....they have failed to do so....which part of this do you people not understand? I do not think that anyone has even indicated that JY is INNOCENT...BUT HE HAS NOT BEEN PROVED GUILTY OF MURDER....period...