Michelle Young

Defense paints picture of a grieving Jason Young

Posted February 27, 2012
Updated February 28, 2012

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— Defense attorneys on Monday painted a starkly different picture than prosecutors did of Jason Young's reaction to his pregnant wife's beating death more than five years ago.

Pat Young Jason Young retrial (Day 16)

He had just finished a business trip when he arrived at his parents' home in Brevard, N.C. on the afternoon of Nov. 3, 2006.

Michelle Young – five months' pregnant with their second child, a boy to be named Rylan – had been found dead hours earlier inside the couple's Raleigh home. Their 2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, had been hiding beneath the covers on her father's side of the bed.

Jason Young's mother, Pat Young, and stepfather, Gerald McIntyre, both testified during their son's first-degree murder trial that they had been waiting for him to get to their house to break the news.

They didn't want to tell him while he was driving.

JsnYng01 Defense images of the Youngs

He had gotten out of his white 2004 Ford Explorer and walked only a couple of feet before he could tell something was wrong.

"I told him, 'Michelle is dead,'" McIntyre said. "If I hadn't got ahold of him, he would have gone plumb to the ground, face-first."

"How did he look?" defense attorney Bryan Collins asked.

"Awful," McIntyre replied. "How do you look when somebody tells you your wife and youngin' is dead?"

Jason Young defense presents case to jurors Jason Young defense presents case to jurors

"You saw the color just drain from his face," Pat Young testified. "He just started going down. He started crying. He asked about Cassidy."

By the time they got to Michelle Young's sister's home in Fuquay-Varina that night, they had been bombarded with calls – including one from a friend advising Jason Young not to talk to law enforcement until he had talked to an attorney.

"They were saying the police officer or detectives were asking some disturbing questions regarding Jason," his sister, Heather McCracken testified.

Jason Young never talked to investigators, despite numerous requests that evening and later on, he has said, because his lawyer told him not to do so.

Prosecutors trying for a second time to win a murder conviction point to his unwillingness to cooperate in the murder investigation as a sign that he was involved in Michelle Young's death.

Their evidence is contrary to what the defense offered Monday.

Young trial recap Young Trial recap: Day 16

Michelle Young's sister testified for the state that Jason Young appeared to be sobbing when she hugged him late on the evening of Nov. 3, 2006, but that his face wasn't wet.

Others testified that, at Michelle Young's wake, he wasn't crying and didn't seem as sad as one would expect. McCracken, however, described her brother that night as being distraught.

"I feel like he was shut down," she said.

At Michelle Young's casket, "He went down on his knees and kind of patted and rubbed Michelle's stomach, and then he put his head down and cried for a little bit," McCracken said.

Jason Young was arrested three years later in the case and first went to trial last summer. Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens declared a mistrial after a jury couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.

Prosecutors formally rested their case Monday morning in the retrial after 15 days of testimony in which they tried to prove that Jason Young was a bad husband who felt pressured into marriage, cheated on his wife and killed her because he didn't want to be married any longer.

His attorneys say that there is no physical evidence linking him to the crime and that, although he might not have been a proper husband, that does not mean he killed his wife.

Their first witness Monday was David Dicks, a state trooper who investigated a Memorial Day weekend wreck involving the Youngs in 2006, in which their SUV ran off a road, down an embankment and into the French Broad River.

Michelle Young, several witnesses have testified, had been pregnant at the time and had a miscarriage several days later. Prosecutors implied through several witnesses that the wreck might not have been an accident.

But Dicks said that he found no evidence that warranted further investigation of the crash and that he found nothing inconsistent with the Youngs' statements.

Michelle Young, he said, reported that she was wearing her seat belt at the time. Other witnesses testified that she said she had taken off the seat belt to get something from the back seat when her husband lost control of the vehicle.

Keith Patterson, with AT&T, also testified Monday that several cellphone calls Jason Young made to his mother on the afternoon of Nov. 3, 2006, could have been due to bad cellphone reception in the mountains of Virginia.

A Wake County sheriff's investigator who testified for the state described six calls to Pat Young from 12:03 p.m. to 12:09 p.m. as possibly being "panic calls."

The state contends that Jason Young left Cassidy Young in the house alone and has suggested that he was trying to get in touch with his mother to help make sure that someone got to the home to make sure the child was safe.

Jason Young testified in his first trial that he was in Virginia on business and was sleeping in a hotel room 169 miles from Raleigh when Michelle Young was killed.

He has said that he had no involvement in her death and doesn't know who killed her.

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  • chauncey7381 Feb 28, 2012

    This is boring testimony to say the least. How come Howard refuses to spend time on the missing clothes allegedly not in the luggage taken from JYs Explorer. Do they have the shoes JY was seen wearing in C Barrel video and at the Hampton Inn? Yes or no.

    So JY was a closet smoker, well, I don't think thats everything in his closet.

  • Chill Out Feb 28, 2012

    CN, you just came up with alternate explanations about how something happened. Major breakthrough for you.

    You were presented with a specific explanation of how something could have happened during a situation, involving other people, that you were not present at. Then you used your brain to formulate different ways that things could have happened.

    I applaud your efforts. (golf clap) (golf clap)

    ...bazinga... Chill Out>>>>>>>>>>>> And you are any different how?
    Comfortably Numb

    Are you kidding me. I have been coming up with alternate explations of evidence the entire trial. Those alternate explanations provide doubt in my mind.

    You are convinced of guilt and believe everything the prosecution says as gospel and do not look at the evidence subjectively.

  • fromageball Feb 28, 2012

    "Aren't they framing JY???
    Comfortably Numb"

    If they were framing JY, I would think they would at least have more compelling evidence that he drove to Raleigh and committed the murder.

  • buford Feb 28, 2012

    BTW, new story up....bgcoving

    Darn...why'd you tell them....

  • dollibug Feb 28, 2012

    ++++neat tricks? We'll You cannot stop a cop from searching, and I certainly don't think they are going to wait around until your lawyer arrives to start.
    Truth Hurt
    February 28, 2012 12:28 p.m.

    Check it out.....

  • Lamborghini Mercy Feb 28, 2012

    DontLikeTheSocialistObama - It's not to be used exclusively to build a case to convict someone with when the state has no real physical evidence to make the case.

    The circumstantial evidence is used to connect the dots to what's factual. The factual part being, JY is tried of first degree murder. Truth is, every case ever ruled has doubt to it, ultimately its how each member of the jury percieve's the person and case itself.

  • annieaamrm Feb 28, 2012

    Would it matter if the dog barked? Most dogs, if their owner tells them to hush they do.
    Comfortably Numb

    'Most', not 'most' if dog feels threaten 'or their owner' threaten.

  • Comfortably Numb Feb 28, 2012

    CN, you just came up with alternate explanations about how something happened. Major breakthrough for you.

    You were presented with a specific explanation of how something could have happened during a situation, involving other people, that you were not present at. Then you used your brain to formulate different ways that things could have happened.

    I applaud your efforts. (golf clap) (golf clap)

    ...bazinga...
    Chill Out>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And you are any different how?

  • Comfortably Numb Feb 28, 2012

    You guys are some real detectives. You state something like it's a fact and call those of us that don't feel like you do names but then you start asking questions that we have gotten answers to way back, like you've come up with something the cops missed. How could that be? Aren't they framing JY???

  • Comfortably Numb Feb 28, 2012

    Some of you posters need to take a break. I mean now you are just acting childish. All of the name calling. Really? Just because someone doesn't think like you? BTW... your boy JY is GOING DOWN.

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