Michelle Young

Judge allows testimony in Jason Young murder trial

Posted May 20, 2011

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— A Superior Court judge ruled Friday to allow the testimony of a convenience store clerk who says she sold gasoline to Jason Young on the morning of his wife's death nearly five years ago.

Young, a Raleigh man who goes on trial next month on a first-degree murder charge, has said he was sleeping in a Virginia hotel room at the time that the clerk says he was in her store.

He was arrested in December 2009 in the slaying of Michelle Young, 29, who was five months' pregnant when she was beaten inside the couple's Wake County home on Nov. 3, 2006.

Gracie Dahms was working at Four Brothers Food Store in King, N.C., between 5 and 5:30 a.m. that day, she testified in a pre-trial hearing, when she had a face-to-face confrontation with Jason Young because he had to pre-pay for his gas purchase.

"He got angry, threw a $20 (bill) at me," Dahms said. "He was cussing."

King is approximately 120 miles from Raleigh and 45 miles from Hillsville, Va., where Jason Young told investigators he was sleeping at the time. (View a map)

Wake County sheriff's investigators say they believe that he checked into a Hampton Inn there on the night of Nov. 2, 2006, and then drove back to Raleigh and killed his wife.

Detectives said they canvassed gas stations between Raleigh and Hillsville and met Dahms on Nov. 6, 2006, when she told them that Jason Young had left an impression on her because of the encounter.

Defense attorneys argued that detectives did not follow identification procedures and might have created "an impermissible taint" on Dahms' memory by not showing her a photo lineup.

Jason Young Judge will allow key testimony in Young murder trial

Chief Resident Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens, however, found there was nothing improper about how detectives conducted multiple interviews and that Dahms' story was her honest recollection, not something resulting form investigators' suggestions.

"'This is the man I saw. He got in my face,'" Stephens said, repeating Dahms' testimony. "He made an impression on her."

Jury selection is expected to begin May 31, and the trial is expected to last approximately one month. Prosecutors have indicated that they will not seek the death penalty.

Investigators haven't offered a motive for Michelle Young's killing, but in search warrants, they have described the couple's marriage as a "volatile" relationship that included violent arguments and infidelity on his part.

In 2009, a judge awarded Michelle Young's family $15.5 million in damages in a wrongful death suit against Jason Young after he failed to respond to the suit.

Michelle Young's sister, Meredith Fisher, has primary custody of the Youngs' daughter, Cassidy, who was 2 years old when she was found in the same room with her mother's body.

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  • jody4663 May 20, 2011

    This will be interesting - I can't wait to see what other evidence they have on Jason Young. I don't know how credible this is though, if it's just a cash transaction and there is nothing concrete to link him to the gas station. I wouldn't trust myself to recognize someone like this - we're all human - even if she remembers this incident, it doesn't necessarily mean it was Jason Young.
    fromageball

    fromageball, From what I understand, this is just a small piece of evidence in the scheme of things. I think there's much more to come.

  • dadsgoose98 May 20, 2011

    Jason,you be da man !

  • GOPACK80 May 20, 2011

    Carmine....the round trip from Hillsville to Raleigh, back to Hillsville would have used 14 gallons in the Ford Explorer. He pumped around $7 with his $15 and had to have another gas stop as well.

  • origami llama May 20, 2011

    This guy is going down.

  • Bartmeister May 20, 2011

    Ever been to Hillsville? Huge Flea Market every year, but besides that, why would he be there? It's not close to anything, and nothing is happening there to amount to anything.

  • fromageball May 20, 2011

    This will be interesting - I can't wait to see what other evidence they have on Jason Young. I don't know how credible this is though, if it's just a cash transaction and there is nothing concrete to link him to the gas station. I wouldn't trust myself to recognize someone like this - we're all human - even if she remembers this incident, it doesn't necessarily mean it was Jason Young.

  • Carmine May 20, 2011

    One way the defense might discredit this testimony is to show that JY wouldn't have needed to purchase gas depending on the size of his gas tank, his vehicles avg miles-per-gallon, etc. and if they can prove he filled his tank before leaving Raleigh.

  • pax2U May 20, 2011

    Investigators testified on Thursday in a pre-trial hearing that Young was registered as a guest at a hotel in Hillsville, Va., the day before and the day his wife's body was found.

    An investigator from the Wake County sheriff's department said workers at the hotel told him they found a rock holding open a door in a side stairwell leading to a remote parking lot on the morning Michelle Young's body was found. They also discovered that a camera in that stairwell had been shifted so the lens was pointed toward the ceiling, not toward the stairs.

    Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/05/20/1212378/judge-allows-store-clerks-testimony.html#ixzz1MvjAZHa6

  • pax2U May 20, 2011

    Dahms said when she worked the third shift alone she often set the gas pumps so customers who were going to pay with cash had to come inside the store before filling their tanks. That way, she said, she could prevent a "gas and go," a theft she would have to pay for personally.

    At about 5 a.m. Nov 3, Dahms said she saw a white SUV pull up to a pump. A frustrated man, she said, a man identified in court today as Jason Young then came into the store, and in what she described as an unusual event, cussed her out for the trouble he was having at the pump. Her practice was to tell people they could either pay in cash at the register or leave a credit card or photo ID with her before she would start the pump at that time of day.

    Dahms said the man threw down $20, pumped $15 in gas and did not come back for his change....She said she remembered him because few people cussed her out as he did.

    Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/05/20/1212378/judge-allows-store-clerks-testimony.html

  • Carmine May 20, 2011

    "the convenience store had security cameras. The only reason to NOT collect the tape is because Jason Young isn't on it." tjgh3

    Well assuming that the clerk isn't making up this story, then if the store had video someone would be on it - either JY or someone else. If it's someone else, then the defense should be able to use it.

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