Local News

Wake sheriff unsurprised by Jason Young lawsuit

Posted November 5, 2008 4:30 a.m. EST
Updated November 6, 2008 10:14 a.m. EST

— Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says he is not surprised by a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the husband of a Wake County mother found slain inside her home two years ago this week.

"It's something I felt was coming," Harrison said Wednesday, "and my reaction is, I think it was due and the right thing to do."

Michelle Young's mother, Linda Fisher, filed the lawsuit last Wednesday against her son-in-law, Jason Young, saying "he brutally murdered" her daughter.

Five months' pregnant with her second child at the time of her death, Michelle Young was found lying face down in her bedroom on Nov. 3, 2006. Her then-2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, was unharmed at her side.

Investigators have named no suspects and have generally declined to comment specifically about the case over the past two years.

Jason Young, however, has been a focus of investigators in search warrants for the couple's home, possessions, his family members' homes and surveillance video from a Virginia hotel where he told investigators he was when his wife was likely killed.

Affidavits also state he talked with authorities the day his wife's body was found, but has otherwise been uncooperative with investigators.

Despite two years and no arrests, Harrison says the case is still an active investigation and is something "we hope to bring to some resolution pretty quickly."

"We want to bring some closure to it on our side, and we want to bring some closure to it on the family's side," he said. "If we could make an arrest tomorrow, it would tickle me to death, but unfortunately, we just have to take our time and play with the cards we are dealt."

In Fisher's suit, which was sealed until Tuesday, she asks that Jason Young be barred from collecting any insurance benefits from his wife's death and be ordered to pay funeral expenses and compensation for her daughter's "horror, pain and suffering" caused by the defendant's "fatal assault."

Fisher's attorneys, Jack Michaels and Paul Michaels, said Wednesday their client wants to make sure Cassidy, now 4, is the sole heir to Michelle Young's estate.

They said they feel confident they have the evidence to prove their case and will rely heavily on information developed in the criminal investigation.

Since his wife's death, Jason Young and Cassidy have moved to western North Carolina, where his family lives.

His attorney, Roger Smith Jr., had no comment on the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon. Jason Young's mother, Pat Young, also declined to comment.

Just how the civil case could affect the criminal investigation is unclear.

"I don’t think it will hurt anything," Harrison said. "Will it help? That part, I don't know."