Michelle Young

Friend details night before Michelle Young's death

Posted June 9, 2011

— Testimony Thursday morning in the murder trial of a man accused of killing his wife centered on the couple's relationship and the events leading up to her beating death nearly five years ago.

Shelly Schaad, a longtime friend of both the victim, Michelle Young, and the defendant, Jason Young, told jurors that she last saw Michelle Young during an evening visit to her home on Nov. 2, 2006, that included dinner, watching an episode of "Grey's Anatomy" and catching up on Schaad's recent honeymoon to Italy.

Shelly Schaad Full video: Day 2 trial testimony

Five months' pregnant, Michelle Young had also just learned that she was having a baby boy and had been on cloud nine, Schaad said.

Jason Young, who was leaving to go out of town for a business meeting in Virginia the next morning, was still home when she arrived around 6:30 p.m. He left about an hour later, having exchanged with his wife a quick hug and kiss before he left, she said.

Hampton Inn surveillance video Young prosecution focuses on hotel stay

Schaad said that, after Michelle Young put her 2-year-old daughter Cassidy to bed, they talked about plans for the new baby, which included her mother, Linda Fisher, moving from New York to help care for him.

They also talked about an argument that Michelle Young was having with her husband about Thanksgiving plans and how Jason Young didn't want Fisher spending time with his family at Thanksgiving. Christmas plans were also unclear, Schaad said.

"It was no secret that she (Fisher) and Jason did not get along," Schaad said. "I don't know that they were (ever) fond of each other. There were certainly a lot of fights."

Fisher was an ongoing source of conflict in the couple's marriage, Schaad testified. Another issue was sex.

"Jason made it very well known that he was upset about the lack of sex in the relationship," she said. "The tension just grew."

Jason Young Friend, hotel employees testify in Young trial

By 10:30 p.m., Schaad said, it was time for her to leave to go home. Michelle Young walked her outside to her car. The two hugged. Schaad left. It was the last time she saw her friend alive.

The next day, Michelle Young was found brutally beaten to death in her bedroom. Cassidy, unharmed, was hiding beneath the covers on her father's side of the bed.

Scott Earp, a patrol deputy for the Wake County Sheriff's Office who was first to arrive at the scene, testified Thursday that he remembered walking upstairs in the Young home and seeing blood smeared on the bathroom wall that, based on the distance it was from the floor, appeared to be from a child.

"It really sank in, and I had to take a deep breath and continue my search," Earp, a father of a 5- and 6-year-old at the time, said.

Young Trial recap: Day 2 testimony Young Trial recap: Day 2 testimony

Inside the bedroom, former Wake County paramedic Scott Hughes testified, Michelle Young was beside her bed, as if she had rolled onto the floor. Her legs appeared to be tangled in the comforter, and blood was everywhere.

"She had lost a copious amount of blood, so I could tell she was more than likely deceased. She had no pulse, and she was cold to the touch and somewhat stiff as well," he said.

Schaad said she found out later that day what had happened. After talking to investigators and gathering with a group of friends to search for answers, she rushed to see Jason Young, who was back in the area at that point, and to see for herself that Cassidy was OK.

"He said, 'I'm so sorry,'" she recalled of seeing Jason Young. "I think he was in as much shock as the rest of us – or appeared to be."

Detectives had asked her a lot of "tough questions" about the couple's marriage, Schaad said she told him. They were difficult to answer, she said, because the answers "painted not a good picture."

The couple often argued about trivial things, she said, even before they married in October 2003.

"They both seemed to – I don't know – try to one up the other. (They were) very childish in their arguments," Schaad said. "I think a lot of times that we were caught in the middle. They were very vocal and caught everyone up in them."

One time before they married, Schaad said, she tried to convince Michelle Young to end the relationship after finding a pair of panties in his bed.

"They fought constantly. It seemed like there were more bad days than good days," she said.

Authorities arrested Jason Young on a first-degree murder charge in December 2009.

Defense attorneys admit that Jason Young wasn't a good husband and that he cheated on his wife, but that does not make him a killer. They contend that forensic evidence found at the crime scene suggests that two people possibly could have been involved.

But prosecutors say Jason Young didn't want to be married and that he killed his wife so that he could live life as a bachelor, going to parties and football games and getting drunk with friends.

Schaad testified Thursday that Jason Young was known for his party antics and had a tendency to wait until the last minute to do things and opting to do what was more fun. Michelle Young, on the other hand, was a planner.

"He and Michelle were as extremely as opposite as they could be," she said.

On a dare one night at a party in September 2006, she said, he peed his pants while drunk.

"The next thing I knew, he was standing in my living room, and he urinated right on my rug," Schaad said.

Her fiancé at the time, Ryan Schaad, put him in the shower, only for him to run out of the bathroom and sit down naked.

"It wasn't unusual for him to expose himself like that in mixed company," she said.

Schaad took a photo, she said, and sent Jason Young an email a few days later, joking that she would be sure to save the photo for when Cassidy got older.


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  • worklady1 Jun 10, 2011

    If JY put the rock in the door and turned the camera, couldn't he put a rock in his hotel door, so it would not detect when he came back?
    Who would be walking the halls between 1 and 5 in the morning, at this hotel? It is the middle of nowhere.

  • _kommon_sense_ Jun 10, 2011

    Could someone tell me who testified about the gas consumption? I missed it and would like to go back and watch that testimony.

  • canucmypointofview Jun 9, 2011

    It's far from perfect fromageball..we learned that in BCs case...sad.

  • fromageball Jun 9, 2011

    "I know its only 2 days but I really don't think I've heard of any real evidence yet? Not been watching real close however. With all that blood I hope they can link him to the scene."RM24

    I hope so too. I am still curious about the size 10 and 12 footprints in the house. It seems like Jason Young could have been involved but where did the size 10 feet come from? Were there two attackers? I haven't been able to watch as much, partly because I've had some trouble accessing the stream at work. I'm just happy we aren't watching a bunch of people testify about an affair and how sure they are that JY did it. The witnesses I've seen so far have appeared to be pretty honest and objective(as much as they can be), so it seems like the prosecution is building a case and will hopefully round it out with real evidence, or there will be reasonable doubt and acquittal. In a perfect world...

  • Tortue Jun 9, 2011

    I am having a problem with him supposedly gassing up in King at 4 Bros store. Bear with me on this one:

    22.5 gallon tank
    16 - 19 mpg highway
    360 - 420 miles / tank
    home - hotel= 169 miles
    home - 4 bros = 121 miles

    If he started with a full tank, drove to Hillsville, returned to Raleigh that would have been 338 miles. He would have had to have stopped no further than 70 miles after leaving Raleigh headed back to Hillsville to refuel. If he did this then why would he have had to stop again in King?

    If he filled up AFTER driving to Hillsville then he would have had enough gas to make the round trip without stopping in King.

    If he started out with a partial tank then he would have had to have stopped somewhere along the way, do they have a record of that purchase? There were no reported drive-offs (they checked) along his route. This is the only way it would have been mathematically possible for him to have had to stop in King, unless he took some kind of detour which is unlikely

  • RM24 Jun 9, 2011

    I know its only 2 days but I really don't think I've heard of any real evidence yet? Not been watching real close however. With all that blood I hope they can link him to the scene.

  • tjgh3 Jun 9, 2011

    kikinc, the theory he left the hotel is pure innuendo. No evidence at all to support it beyond a reasonable doubt. The rock was removed from the door before he could have possibly returned to the hotel.

  • kidsrn Jun 9, 2011

    Wow. He sounds like a charmer. Peeing on himself? Running around naked in mixed company? Sheesh. I am not saying he did it or didn't do it, but there sure seems like a lot of evidence that is adding up against him. This will be interesting.

  • tjgh3 Jun 9, 2011

    the hotel security video and time stamps were an incredible waste of time. Not working, not consistent time, happened in the past with partiers, no staff remembered the guy yet he was there to collect his check-out receipt in the a.m. This is turning into as pathetic a case as Cooper's.

  • canucmypointofview Jun 9, 2011

    I'll have to say it again, I am diggin this judge. Doesn't seem to be letting anything happen in his courtroom that could be seen as "unconstitutional" in the leastt! Unlike that other Wake Co Judge we all grew to hate in BC's trial.