Michelle Young

Detectives seek more data from Jason Young's laptop

Posted June 1, 2011

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— Less than a month before the case of a Raleigh woman beaten to death inside her home was to go to trial, detectives asked a judge for permission to obtain data from her husband's laptop.

That's according to a search warrant, returned last week to Wake County Superior Court, in the investigation of Michelle Young's death on Nov. 3, 2006.

Twenty weeks' pregnant at the time, the 29-year-old was found dead in the bedroom of her Wake County home with her 2-year-old daughter, who was unharmed.

Jason Young murder trial Full coverage: Michelle Young murder case

The May 16 warrant is for a computer taken during a search of Jason Young's Ford Explorer after he was charged with first-degree murder in December 2009.

Previous searches of other computers in the case revealed Internet searches for the phrases "head trauma knockout" and "anatomy of a knockout," according to court documents.

Wake County sheriff's investigators haven't commented on a motive, but court documents suggest the couple had a volatile relationship, partly stemming from an affair Jason Young reportedly was having with a Florida woman who was also his wife's sorority sister.

In the latest search warrant affidavit, investigators write that the woman, Michelle Money, told them that she and Jason Young were in frequent communication with each other, that their relationship was physical and that he had visited her less than a month before his wife's death.

Jason Young has maintained that he was out of town on business in Hillsville, Va., when Michelle Young was killed and that he learned about her death at his parents' house in Brevard, N.C., approximately 275 miles from Raleigh.

Warrants say surveillance video from the Hampton Inn where Jason Young was staying captured him on the night of Nov. 2 in the hotel lobby about an hour after he checked in and also walking toward a side hotel exit. His key card, however, had only been swiped once during his stay.

Investigators were never able to recover the clothing he was wearing in the video, and when detectives searched his suitcase from the trip, they found several T-shirts and shorts but no underclothes, socks or business attire, according to the latest warrant.

Jury selection in Young's trial began Tuesday, during which 120 potential jurors were identified, and attorneys were screening them on Wednesday.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Jason Young faces a life sentence in the case. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.

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  • superman Jun 10, 2011

    tigresspen-- just how do you know it is reliable? You have no idea as to how the laptop was stored or secured or how many people turned it on and off while they had it. Maybe it would be good evidence had they made a copy of the hard drive immediately after it was confiscated. They have had it for over 2 years and are just getting around now to checking it? Glad you are not on this jury.

  • busterbluth Jun 2, 2011

    @tigresspen - thanks :)

  • tigresspen Jun 2, 2011

    busterbluth

    They have weeded down the potential jurors to 120 according to wral - none have been seated as of yesterday - maybe next week sometime we will hear OS.

  • tigresspen Jun 2, 2011

    I am not concerned about laptop evidence not being good evidence. It is. And reliable. The laptop was confiscated from his vehicle in 09 after his arrest.

  • superman Jun 2, 2011

    quaten-- why not just remove the "hard drive" from the laptop. Fairly simple to do and it only takes a few minutes. They should have made a copy of the hard drive and then removed the one from the computer. Keep it simple-- these people are in law enforement and dont know any better. You dont even need to power up the computer to make a copy of the hard drive if you remove it from the laptop,

  • busterbluth Jun 2, 2011

    morning all :) does anyone know when the trial is scheduled to begin?

  • superman Jun 2, 2011

    Well the Karry police department left the other laptop plugged up so I dont expect that Wake County did it any better. If they checking 5 years later are they short on help or is the help "short"? I have already lost confidence in the Wake County law enforment. This is indeed sloppy work.

  • quaten Jun 1, 2011

    "...His key card, however, had only been swiped once during his stay.
    Investigators were never able to recover the clothing he was wearing in the video, and when detectives searched his suitcase from the trip, they found several T-shirts and shorts but no underclothes, socks or business attire, according to the latest warrant."

    This should be enough to convict any traveling salesman.

  • quaten Jun 1, 2011

    "I wouldn't trust anything computer related 5 years later, and especially not after the way the evidence was mishandled in the BC trial."

    Depends on the shutdown condition. If it was shutdown, powered off, battery removed, wireless cards removed, (iLo cards removed - rare of it had any), any network cables removed, and mobile broadband devices removed, then it's hard drive should be a good snapshot of the shutdown event.

  • jody4663 Jun 1, 2011

    He doesnt have to prove he was out of town at the time of the murder. They have to prove he is guilty. You dont have to prove your innocence. They have to be able to prove he was there. superman

    I think they'll be able to do it!

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