Local News

Michelle Young's mother seeking custody of daughter

Posted December 19, 2008 11:45 a.m. EST
Updated December 19, 2008 6:59 p.m. EST

— The family of Michelle Young is asking a judge for custody of the slain mother's young daughter, who has been living with her father since her mother's death more than two years ago.

In a civil complaint unsealed Friday, Michelle Young's mother, Linda Fisher, and sister, Meredith Fisher, also ask for a psychological evaluation of Jason Young, claiming they have concerns about his parenting ability and his mental and emotional state.

A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for Feb. 4.

Calls to both Linda Fisher and Meredith Fisher, as well as Roger Smith Jr., a Raleigh attorney representing Jason Young, were not immediately returned Friday afternoon.

Pregnant at the time of her death, Michelle Young, 29, was found lying face down in the bedroom of her house on Nov. 3, 2006. Her 2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, was found unharmed in the same room.

Since his wife's death, Jason Young has moved with his daughter to western North Carolina, where his family lives. He told Wake County sheriff's investigators that he was out of town on business when his wife was killed.

Authorities have not made an arrest in the case, but Detective Richard Spivey, the lead investigator, recently stated in an affidavit that he believes Jason Young killed his wife.

The custody complaint, filed Wednesday and kept under seal until it was served, states that Jason Young has consistently denied telephone and personal contact between the Fishers and Cassidy, now 4.

A visit in October, the complaint states, required "extensive attorney involvement to facilitate."

Gifts to Cassidy, including all Christmas presents, have also been returned, unopened, it continues.

"Cassidy is attached to the plaintiffs," the complaint states. "Despite the defendant's and his family's efforts to exclude the plaintiffs from Cassidy's life, as set out below, a strong bond continues to exist between Cassidy and the plaintiffs."

The Fishers also claim in their lawsuit that Jason Young has not provided a stable living environment for his daughter, that he is unemployed and generating little or no income and that he relies primarily on family members to care for her.

They continue to state that they believe he has posted photos of the girl on the Internet in attempts to get dates.

Prior to Michelle Young's death, they claim Jason Young behaved in an inappropriate and degrading manner toward his wife, that he "publicly berated and was cruel to Michelle" and engaged in sexual relationships with several women in the weeks and months prior to his wife's death.

"There was escalating disharmony between the defendant and Michelle in the weeks prior to her murder," the complaint states.

Earlier this month, a Superior Court judge ruled in a wrongful death lawsuit Linda Fisher filed in October that Jason Young was responsible for his wife's death.

Legal experts say the ruling has nothing to do with guilt or innocence but means Jason Young won't be able to collect life insurance benefits from his wife.