Michelle Young

Young trial focuses on crime scene evidence

Posted June 13, 2011 5:39 a.m. EDT
Updated June 14, 2011 10:10 a.m. EDT

— An investigator who detailed last week the bloody crime scene where a pregnant Raleigh woman was found dead nearly five years ago continued testifying Monday in her husband’s first-degree murder trial, saying he never saw any scratch marks, cuts or abrasions on his body.

Mike Galloway, an investigations supervisor with the City-County Bureau of Investigation, said he was present on Nov. 7, 2006, when investigators had Jason Young, 37, strip naked and photographed him for potential injuries that might have occurred during the course of his wife's beating death.

Michelle Young was found inside the bedroom of the couple's Wake County home on Nov. 3, 2006, with her 2-year-old-daughter hiding under the covers of her parents' bed.

With the exception of a bruise on the big toe of Jason Young's left foot, Galloway said, he didn't observe any other bruising on his body.

Most of Monday's testimony was from witnesses who introduced evidence into the court that was taken from the Young home, the defendant's white Ford Explorer and a Hampton Inn about three hours from Raleigh, where Jason Young checked in while traveling for business the night before his wife's death.

Among those items from the Young home were sheet rock from the master bedroom, two pillows stamped with bloody shoe prints, a clump of hair and fingerprints.

From the hotel were photos and video as well as a red lava rock found on the sidewalk near a hotel exit that employees found propped open with a rock on the morning of Nov. 3, 2006.

Galloway testified that he also swabbed a jewelry chest missing two drawers in the Youngs' bedroom for DNA. Those drawers were never found, and defense attorneys contend that the chest contained a DNA profile belonging to an unidentified person.

Galloway also said that he never found any indications of blood in Young's SUV or in the hotel room. On cross-examination, he said he did notice traces of blood on a kitchen-door knob leading into the garage at the Young’s home.

Galloway's testimony Monday was his second day on the stand. On Friday, he detailed for jurors the crime scene as he documented it in photos and a 30-minute video.

There were bloody footprints all over the upstairs floor, blood smeared on the bathroom walls and blood spatter reaching near the ceiling of the bedroom, he said.

Michelle Young was lying on her stomach by the bed and one of two closets in the master bedroom, Galloway said. Her feet were partially under the bed and her head was near the closet door.

Pillows, including one with a bloody shoe print, surrounded her body, along with a baby doll that her daughter had placed by her head. There was also a large amount of blood on the floor and coming down off the side of the bed.

Galloway said it appeared to him that she had been lying on the bed when she was attacked.

Dr. Thomas Clark, a former state medical examiner, testified last week that Michelle Young died as a result of blunt force injury to the head and that there were signs of strangulation. She had multiple cuts and bruises, defensive wounds, a jaw fracture and her teeth were knocked out.

Also on Monday, Brent David, a Wake County sheriff's deputy testified that he spoke with Michelle Young's sister and mother, as well as her mother-in-law, on the night of her death, but that he never saw Jason Young.

Defense attorneys, during their opening statement last week, admitted that Jason Young wasn’t a good husband but asserted that he did not kill his wife. Forensic evidence points to someone else, possibly two people, as the culprit, defense attorneys said.

Jason Young never cooperated with investigators on the advice of his attorney, the defense said, because he believed investigators were already looking at him as a suspect.