Local News

Defense wants gas receipt blocked in Raleigh man's murder trial

Posted April 26, 2011 11:58 a.m. EDT
Updated April 27, 2011 3:25 p.m. EDT

— Defense attorneys for a Raleigh man going to trial next month for the beating death of his pregnant wife want a judge to block testimony from a convenience store clerk who says she sold him gasoline.

Jason Lynn Young, 37, was arrested in December 2009 on a first-degree murder charge in the slaying of Michelle Young, 29, who was five months' pregnant when she was beaten inside the couple's Wake County home on Nov. 3, 2006.

Attorneys for Jason Young want Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens to suppress the testimony of Gracie Bailey, a store clerk at a convenience store in King, N.C., approximately 120 miles from Raleigh.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Becky Holt said the state has a cash receipt from the store for a gasoline purchase at 5:27 a.m. on the day Michelle Young was killed.

Jason Young has said he was sleeping in a hotel room in Hillsville, Va., about 45 miles away, at the time, Holt said.

Stephens will hear the defense's motion to suppress the testimony on May 19, also the day Jason Young is scheduled to be arraigned.

Jury selection is expected to begin the week of May 30. Prosecutors have indicated that they will not seek the death penalty.

Investigators haven't offered a motive for Michelle Young's killing, but in search warrants, they have described the couple's marriage as a "volatile" relationship that included violent arguments and infidelity on his part.

According to search warrants, Jason Young told investigators he was out of town on business when his wife was killed. Michelle Young's sister, Meredith Fisher, found her body after he asked her to go to the couple's home to retrieve a fax.

An autopsy found Michelle Young died from blunt force trauma to the head after being hit at least 10 times.

In 2009, a judge awarded Michelle Young's family $15.5 million in damages in a wrongful death suit against Jason Young after he failed to respond to the suit.

Fisher has primary custody of the Youngs' daughter, Cassidy, who was 2 years old when she was found in the same room with her mother's body.