Michelle Young

Detectives seek more data from Jason Young's laptop

Posted June 1, 2011 3:35 p.m. EDT
Updated June 1, 2011 4:11 p.m. EDT

— Less than a month before the case of a Raleigh woman beaten to death inside her home was to go to trial, detectives asked a judge for permission to obtain data from her husband's laptop.

That's according to a search warrant, returned last week to Wake County Superior Court, in the investigation of Michelle Young's death on Nov. 3, 2006.

Twenty weeks' pregnant at the time, the 29-year-old was found dead in the bedroom of her Wake County home with her 2-year-old daughter, who was unharmed.

The May 16 warrant is for a computer taken during a search of Jason Young's Ford Explorer after he was charged with first-degree murder in December 2009.

Previous searches of other computers in the case revealed Internet searches for the phrases "head trauma knockout" and "anatomy of a knockout," according to court documents.

Wake County sheriff's investigators haven't commented on a motive, but court documents suggest the couple had a volatile relationship, partly stemming from an affair Jason Young reportedly was having with a Florida woman who was also his wife's sorority sister.

In the latest search warrant affidavit, investigators write that the woman, Michelle Money, told them that she and Jason Young were in frequent communication with each other, that their relationship was physical and that he had visited her less than a month before his wife's death.

Jason Young has maintained that he was out of town on business in Hillsville, Va., when Michelle Young was killed and that he learned about her death at his parents' house in Brevard, N.C., approximately 275 miles from Raleigh.

Warrants say surveillance video from the Hampton Inn where Jason Young was staying captured him on the night of Nov. 2 in the hotel lobby about an hour after he checked in and also walking toward a side hotel exit. His key card, however, had only been swiped once during his stay.

Investigators were never able to recover the clothing he was wearing in the video, and when detectives searched his suitcase from the trip, they found several T-shirts and shorts but no underclothes, socks or business attire, according to the latest warrant.

Jury selection in Young's trial began Tuesday, during which 120 potential jurors were identified, and attorneys were screening them on Wednesday.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Jason Young faces a life sentence in the case. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.