Michelle Young

Young jury appeared to be leaning toward acquittal

Posted June 28, 2011

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— Jurors in the first-degree murder trial of Jason Young appeared to be leaning toward a not-guilty verdict before sending the judge a note that they were deadlocked in an 8-4 vote.

Jason Young murder trial Full trial coverage

That's according to a copy of the note made public Tuesday, a day after Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens declared a mistrial in the nearly 5-year-old murder case of Michelle Young, who was five months' pregnant when she was beaten to death inside her Raleigh home on Nov. 3, 2006.

Jason Young, her husband, was arrested in December 2009 and charged with her death.

Jurors deliberated for more than 12 hours before foreman George DeMartz sent Stephens a note saying that "the current 8-4 situation that we find ourselves in leads us to believe that we will make no further headway in this matter."

Under the "8" were the letters "NG" and under the "4" was a "G."

DeMartz, as well as other jurors, declined to comment about the trial Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said in an email Tuesday that, in the coming weeks, his office will re-evaluate the case against Jason Young and speak with jurors, if they are willing, to get their feedback before deciding how to proceed.

Prosecutors could try him again, reach a plea deal or dismiss the murder charge.

Jason Young Young jury appeared to be leaning toward acquittal

Jason Young, 37, remains in the Wake County jail, where he has been since his arrest. His attorneys have indicated that they plan to seek bond for him at a hearing next month.

Jurors first told Stephens Monday morning that they were "immovably hung" at a 6-6 vote, but the judge instructed them to continue deliberating. They returned several hours later with an 8-4 vote.

Jason Young has maintained that he was out of town on business when his 29-year-old wife was killed. His testimony during the trial was a rare move, which legal experts say could have been a factor in the hung jury.

The state contended during the nearly three-week trial that Jason Young and his wife argued frequently and that he didn't want to be married but didn't want a divorce.

He checked into a Virginia hotel on the night of Nov. 2, 2006, and drove 169 miles back to his home, killed his wife and drove back to the hotel, prosecutors claim.

Michelle Young's sister discovered her body and the Youngs' 2-year-old daughter, who was unharmed, inside the home after getting a voicemail from Jason Young asking her to go to the home to retrieve some documents from a printer.

Defense attorneys argued that someone else, possibly two people, killed Michelle Young, noting DNA evidence found inside the house didn't match Jason Young.

There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, his attorneys said. He didn't have time to commit the crime, and even circumstantial evidence showed that he didn't do it, they said.

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  • No Coincidence Jul 6, 2011

    @ sean kelly cont...

    You have clung to the possibility that Jason COULD have been smoking a cigar, getting lost, mysteriously losing his clothes, coincidentally having identical shoes to the ones worn by the killer, not cared about his wifes killer, and not stopping for gas.

    why did he change clothes to get a news paper from the desk? Why isnt he seen on camera eating breakfast?
    Why did he pay for a hotel to be by his business meeting, and not get the closest one?
    Did he get lost often?
    How often did he get lost with a road map sitting next to him? Does his dog protect his family from suspicious or weird people?
    Why didn't the dog wake his wife up barking at the intruder? Has he ever asked his daughter who was there? Or who took her socks off? If so, why didn't he tell his attorneys so they could follow up? Why in God's name would he ever stop at applebees when his daughter is at home, without a parent, hours after seeing a horrific tragedy? Please, answer me this.

  • No Coincidence Jul 6, 2011

    Common sense tells you that his behavior that night, the next day, and the rest of the years, was extremely weird, and unexplainable.

    Some people dont allow themselves to consider that it isn't normal to do all the weird stuff Jason did that night. You can't possibly be looking at all of it as a combined presentation of evidence. Youre suggesting that the state should prove it was weird... But that's not really possible.It's "weird" when his wife is murdered at the same time all of his weirdness was occurring. Common sense tells you its weird or "not normal". You have to ask yourself what you/ your mom/spouse/dad would do in the same situation, confronted with a loved one's murder while he/she/you were out of town having a cigar on a business trip.

  • No Coincidence Jul 6, 2011

    @SeanKelly

    Judge Stevens stated, in so many words, that the evidence presented cannot be interpreted by each individual circumstance/evidence. It needs to be looked at in corroboration with the rest of the evidence presented.

    On its own, it is the nature of circumstantial evidence for more than one explanation to still be possible. Inference from one piece of circumstantial evidence may not guarantee accuracy. Circumstantial evidence usually accumulates into a collection, so that the pieces then become corroborating evidence. Together, they may more strongly support one particular inference over another. An explanation involving circumstantial evidence becomes more valid as proof of a fact when the alternative explanations have been ruled out.

    Sure, all of the "explanations" you offer as possibilities to Tarheels questions are POSSIBLE, but combine all of the pieces of circumstantial evidence, and top it with the excuses he gave, and you have all other possibilities ruled out.

  • Bartmeister Jul 1, 2011

    Well we know there were 4 ignorant people on the jury.

  • dollibug Jun 30, 2011

    +++We need to remember political correctness. Men in general and white men in particular are the media villains in this country. In Wake county and Cary, every marital problem is blamed on the husband. It sure does make police work easy. Blame 'em and frame 'em. It doesn't cost the district attorneys or the police chiefs anything and so what if they send an innocent man to jail. They still get a vote of confidence from the elected officials and a pay raise no matter how much damage they do to innocent people.
    spookems

    And the sad thing is that law enforcement officers and the judicial employees seem not to care if they follow what is legal and lawful....it is easy to "blame'em and frame'em....
    regardless if there is any evidence which points to them or not...and THIS IS WRONG...and again....I find it really hard to know that the GRAND JURY would indict on NO EVIDENCE...but as everyone knows....it happened...

  • spookems Jun 29, 2011

    We need to remember political correctness. Men in general and white men in particular are the media villains in this country. In Wake county and Cary, every marital problem is blamed on the husband. It sure does make police work easy. Blame 'em and frame 'em. It doesn't cost the district attorneys or the police chiefs anything and so what if they send an innocent man to jail. They still get a vote of confidence from the elected officials and a pay raise no matter how much damage they do to innocent people.

  • eccgc Jun 29, 2011

    Meredith was really calm on the 911 call
    Born and raised JOCO

    Indicative of nothing than a level headed young lady. The 911 worker insisted that she stay calm and thus she did.

  • eccgc Jun 29, 2011

    Meredith, Pay no attention to those who say bad things about you or insinuate that you possibly had anything to do with the death of your sister. Just can't imagine where they're coming from other than the fact that they lack understanding. Please take comfort in the fact that Michelle's murderer will NEVER have peace and I believe justice will prevail.

  • imsosorry Jun 29, 2011

    Meredith was really calm on the 911 call

  • dollibug Jun 29, 2011

    ++++Knowing Meredith personally-NO, she did NOT have a hand in this. Go sniff elsewhere for "great murder mystery." For all she knew, she didn't know her sister had been killed. Any number of things go through your head when you walk into a situation as she did.
    nclissy79

    You know...it is funny how you might think you really KNOW SOMEONE....but when things happen.....you find out you DID NOT KNOW THEM AT ALL....I guess this is a what if situation.....a person never knows.....about anyone.....you might be quite surprised one day what you might find out...

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