Local News

Attorney: Detectives building case around Jason Young

Posted August 19, 2008 3:32 p.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2008 10:12 a.m. EDT

— A former federal prosecutor says that newly released search warrants in the 2006 murder case of Michelle Young show investigators seem to be building a case around her husband, Jason Young.

"Reading between the lines of the search warrant, he's their primary suspect," Kieran Shanahan said Tuesday.

In affidavits supporting the request for the search warrants, released Monday, investigators state that DNA in blood spatter on a bedroom wall near where Michelle Young's body was found matched Jason Young's.

Shanahan, who is not involved in the case, also points to bloody shoe prints reported at the crime scene, surveillance video from a Virginia hotel of Jason Young coming and going, and a propped-open door that eliminated the need to use a traceable key card.

"Sometimes, circumstantial evidence can be more powerful than direct evidence," he said.

Michelle Young, 29, was five months' pregnant 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.

Jason Young told Wake County sheriff's investigators that he was out of town on business when his wife was killed.

Authorities have never called Jason Young a suspect or person of interest in the case, but in multiple search warrant affidavits, they have characterized him as being unwilling to help investigators.

He talked with investigators the day his wife's body was found and later gave fingerprints under a court order, but has generally been uncooperative, they have said.

From the perspective of a defense attorney, Shanahan said that if he were representing Jason Young, he would urge him not to talk to investigators.

Neither Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison nor Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby would comment on the case Tuesday. Jason Young and Roger W. Smith Jr., a Raleigh attorney who has been representing him, could not be reached for comment.

Harrison has stated in the past that investigators are following up on every piece of evidence and every lead in the case.

"Our society cries out for justice, and unfortunately, our society always wants everything now," Shanahan said. "It takes a lot of pieces, if you will, to be able to weave together a story that will convince a jury."

Michelle Young's mother, Linda Fisher, also declined to talk about the search warrants but said she believes authorities will make an arrest when it is appropriate.

"Everyday that goes by without an arrest is a day too long," she said. "But I'm not a detective. They're putting a puzzle together. When the time is right, an arrest will be made."