Local News

Jason Young named in wrongful death lawsuit

Posted November 4, 2008 4:38 p.m. EST
Updated November 4, 2008 9:50 p.m. EST

— The husband of a slain Wake County woman has been named in a wrongful death lawsuit, two years after his wife was found beaten to death inside their Raleigh home.

Michelle Young, 29, was five months' pregnant with her second child when her sister found her lying face down on Nov. 3, 2006, inside her home at 5108 Birchleaf Drive. Her then-2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, was unharmed at her side.

The lawsuit, filed last Wednesday on behalf of Michelle Young's mother, Linda Fisher, and sealed until Tuesday afternoon, claims Jason Young is liable for her daughter's death and asks that he be barred from collecting any insurance benefits on her life.

It also asks for compensation for the "horror, pain and suffering … caused by the defendant's fatal assault," reasonable funeral expenses and the monetary value to Cassidy of the loss of her mother.

"There's not much more I can say than how much I miss Michelle," Fisher told WRAL News in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. She referred all other questions to her attorney in Raleigh, Paul Michaels.

A judge ordered the complaint sealed based on the ground that media attention surrounding the case would alert Jason Young before he could be properly served and allow him to evade that.

Jason Young told Wake County sheriff's investigators that he was out of town on business when his wife was killed, and authorities have never named him a suspect or person of interest in the case.

Search warrant affidavits indicate he talked with authorities the day his wife's body was found and later gave fingerprints under a court order, but has generally been uncooperative with investigators.

Jason Young's Raleigh attorney, Roger Smith Jr., had no comment. Jason Young's mother, Pat Young said she was aware of the lawsuit but also declined to comment.

Since his wife's death, Jason Young has moved with his daughter to western North Carolina to be closer to his family.

Calls to the Wake County District Attorney's Office were not immediately returned.

Phyllis Stephens, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said Tuesday afternoon that investigators are "certainly going to be watching what transpires," but she declined to comment further because the killing is an active investigation.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Monday afternoon that investigators are still assigned full-time to solving the case.

"We meet on this almost every day. It is no way a cold case," Harrison said. "Hopefully, we'll make an arrest in the near future."