Raleigh, N.C. — Jason Young sobbed Tuesday morning as his mother recalled the day of Michelle Young's funeral and the last time he saw his slain pregnant wife before she was buried.
"He touched Michelle's hand, and then he reached over and rubbed his hand on that little mound that was his baby," Pat Young said during her testimony in her son's first-degree murder trial.
Michelle Young, 29, was five months’ pregnant with a boy when her sister, Meredith Fisher, found her beaten to death inside her Wake County home on Nov. 3, 2006. Her daughter, Cassidy, then 2, was found unharmed hiding under the covers of her parents' bed.
Prosecutors spent the past nine days trying to prove that Jason Young killed his wife because he didn't want to be married or have a family and that he wanted to live life on his own terms – drinking, partying and spending time with his friends.
Jason Young, who was arrested more than three years later, has said he was out of town when his wife died.
Defense attorneys contend that their client was not a good husband, having had two affairs, but that he did not kill his wife and leave his daughter alone in the house.
Tuesday marked Pat Young's second day of testimony.
She testified Monday that she and her husband – Jason Young's stepfather – told him about his wife's death at their home in Brevard, N.C., on the afternoon of Nov. 3, 2006, when he arrived at their house after his business meeting for an overnight visit.
"Jason went pale. He just went white. He sank down to the ground. He said, 'That can't be right,'" she said. "He started crying. He started asking, 'What about Cassidy?'"
Continuing Tuesday, she said that, on the way back to the Triangle, she sat with him in the back seat of his Ford Explorer and, at times, he put his head in her lap and cry.
She also recalled the day her son was arrested on Dec. 14, 2009, after he was indicted.
They were leaving an auto shop where they had taken her son's SUV for repairs and were getting into her car when officers came out of nowhere and handcuffed him and placed him in a patrol car.
"I spoke to a couple of officers, and I said, 'Can I hug him?' They opened the door … and I reached down to hug him. That was the last time I ever hugged him," Pat Young, almost in tears, said.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Jason Young faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.