Michelle Young

Clerk says she sold gas to Jason Young on day of wife's slaying

Posted June 10, 2011

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— A third-shift convenience store clerk testified Friday in the murder trial of Jason Young that she sold him gasoline the morning his wife was found dead in their Raleigh home.

It was sometime between 5 and 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 3, 2006, Gracie Dahms recalled, that a man driving a white SUV pulled into the parking lot of the Four Brothers Food Store in King, N.C., about 120 miles from Raleigh, and attempted several times to get gas.

Gracie Dahms Full video: Day 3 trial testimony

The pump was off during overnight hours, Dahms said, to keep people from driving away without paying. After several attempts at starting the pump, she said, the man entered the store and stood face to face with her.

"He asked me what was up, and I told him, 'Either you have to have cash or a license or credit card for me to hold on to until after you get done,'" Dahms said. "That's when he started cussing at me and threw a $20 at me."

Dahms said the man, she later pointed out in court as being Jason Young, got $15 worth of gasoline and drove away behind a nearby McDonald's.

"I don't forget anybody who cusses me," she said. "I don't forget nothing like that."

It was around the same time, Jason Young has said, that he was asleep inside a Hampton Inn approximately 45 minutes away in Hillsville, Va.

Gracie Dahms Store clerk: Jason Young 'started cussing at me, threw a $20'

Prosecutors say he checked into the hotel on the night of Nov. 2, 2006, and then drove back to Raleigh and killed his pregnant wife, Michelle Young.

"His plan was to be able to say that he was in Virginia. His plan was to go in and kill her and get back out so that he could say he wasn't there," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Becky Holt said during opening statements Tuesday.

Also Friday, jurors heard testimony about Jason Young's cellphone records, which indicated he made dozens of calls, including several to a Florida woman with whom he was having an affair, on the night before and the day his wife died.

Jurors also spent hours listening to a crime scene investigator go over the crime scene as he found it on Nov. 3, 2006. They saw photos of the Youngs' bedroom and of Michelle Young as she had been found that day.

On Thursday, Hampton Inn employee Keith Hicks testified that, early in the morning of Nov. 3, 2006, that he discovered an emergency exit door propped open with a rock and a security camera pointing toward the door unplugged.

Hicks said that he kicked the rock from the door and had maintenance employee Elmer Goad plug the camera in around 5:50 a.m.

About 15 minutes later, Hicks testified, he noticed that the camera had been pushed up toward the ceiling.

Goad testified that, when he checked the electronic key access log for sheriff's detectives days later, records showed Young’s room had been accessed only once using the key. That was shortly before 11 p.m., and it wasn't accessed again until the next day by housekeeping.

Defense attorneys contend that Jason Young did not kill his wife and that there is no evidence that he did. There was DNA evidence, however, of two unidentified males found in the couple's home.

"This young man did not kill his wife," defense attorney Mike Klinkosum said in his opening statement to jurors. "He was not one of the attackers who brutally murdered her and his unborn son, and this case is not solved."

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  • rhhrsc Jun 13, 2011

    I have to agree with NCwolf08 and several others. Can the armchair warriors move ON from the Cooper trial. At this point it is what it is, the man was convicted and if he gets an appeal and gets out then good for him but the trial is OVER.

    This trial and all the others...It is sad that a man will kill his wife and try to get away with it ..sad that this is a mainstream plan...also seems that every show about killers talks about it more often than not but yet these people seem to still find it the best option. Rage is one thing but wouldn't a 2 hour drive home to kill her make you realize divorcing her is a better option?? I would think all the voices in your head would agree on this. It is shocking me though that the ones who consider this will STILL look up the way the person is ultimately murdered on their computer. Really? Blunt force trama or death by head injury as a search on your personal computer?? I guess crazy is altogether different?

  • NCnewsfollower Jun 10, 2011

    Here is the million dollar question: Why didn't the Four Brothers location have security cameras? Wouldn't the cameras have captured him entering the store?

  • superman Jun 10, 2011

    Guess some of you never stayed in a motel. You can set the lock on the door so that it you dont need a key or card to come and go. You dont have to prop the door-- you dont have to tape the latch. I have worked in retail with a lot of customers and you be surprised at the number of confrontations you have every day. Their case with the clerk would be a lot more solid had they had her identify him in an official lineup. Showing her a picture is amateur and unprofessional and a good detective would never have tainted the evidence in that manner.

  • carla349 Jun 10, 2011

    "They got some DNA evidence on JY and some Hushpuppy footprints...stay tuned. ~ chauncey7381"

    Oh, I'm staying tuned. So far this trial is pretty impressive. An AT&T expert to testify about the cell phone records. Huh, there's a novel idea! And the judge allowed it! If he allows all the other evidence, too, we may have an authentic verdict on our hands.

    I guess I keep looking at it like, what would be normal behavior after one beats someone to death? And there really is no normal to that, now is there?

  • swifty Jun 10, 2011

    If he wasn't coming back to his room, then why block the hotel door? Did the police ever check his room door for adhesive? If he blocked it with tape there would still be adhesive. Is he very bright? By the sounds of it not. And if he didn't come back to the hotel, who moved the camera? And if he did come back, how did he get back in and how did he move the camera without the camera picking him up?

  • lissad821 Jun 10, 2011

    I've always wondered how, if Jason was driving his vehicle, there was no blood found? Maybe they have never said anything but I would find it hard to believe that someone could beat someone to death and then drive back to their hotel to make an alibi and there not be one drop of blood in the car, his shoes, clothes? Has this been discussed at all? (I can't hear or see the trial at work)Legal Lady

    He took a shower after and there is evidence that his closet door was opened after the murder. All he had to do was put on new clothes and dump the bloody ones along with the murder weapon on his way back to VA. The clothes he was seen wearing in the security camera when he was walking down the hall at around midnight have never been found.

  • hellorhighwaters Jun 10, 2011

    I have worked retail before and you may see thousands of people a week, but the ones that cuss you...you remember them. Even if its months before they come back into the store, you remember them. And this guy has facial features that set him apart from other men; so...yea, I can see the clerial remembering him that morning. And she probably talked about him to the person that relied her for the day shift.

    He could have very easily put tape on his hotel door so that he didn't have to use his key. (Who would go into his room anyway, at that time of morning or night?) But he couldn't put tape on the exit door without someone noticing that. So, I think, he did put the rock there, to hold the door. And the deal with the hotel security camera; even a hotel guest not going to go to that much trouble to get back in, they would not care; they got a room. Only person that would care, would be someone who didn't want to be seen leaving. Seems to me...guilty or not..in the room.

  • 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.

  • lissad821 Jun 10, 2011

    There were 116 people that stayed in the hotel that night and there were 52 on that floor. I hope that helps. so... out of the 52, how many have they talked to that may have put a rock in the door as they were bring their bags in or how many were out there to smoke, or your just bieng a smartazz
    LambeauSouth

    So the jury is suppose to believe that all the Coincidents happen to JY the very night his wife was beaten to death. Nope not buying it. Then that makes JY one unlucky man, if you were to believe this. He never once cooperated with LE. If I were innocent I would do everything I could to find the killer. He never did anything except run back to mama's house.

  • lissad821 Jun 10, 2011

    The clerk is obviously a glory hound. I don't buy her story about her"remembering anybody that cusses at me"'. She have a long list of people to remember with the job she has. If she couldn't pick him out of a line up, she's lying.Also, $15 worth of gas won't get you from Raleigh to whereever he was supposedly spotted trying to get some gas. If I were that far from home, I'd have got me some gas, like a tank full.This guys lost everything, and they're trying to lock him away or worse. It can't get any worse for Jason Young...I just hope they got the right guy.Hard to tell for me...evidence is weak at best.
    el conquistador

    Please research all the evidence in this case before you have diarrhea of the mouth again. JY will be found guilty for the murder of his wife and unborn son.

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