Michelle Young

Ex-fiancée testifies that Jason Young attacked her

Posted June 16, 2011 6:29 p.m. EDT
Updated June 17, 2011 4:36 p.m. EDT

— A woman who was once engaged to Jason Young testified Thursday that he attacked her in a Texas hotel room during an argument more than a decade ago and tried to remove her engagement ring from her finger.

"He was throwing me from one bed to the other," Genevieve Cargol said. "He was jumping on me with all his weight, so hard that I felt like my arms were going to come out of the sockets of my shoulder."

Cargol said Jason Young also pinned her arms behind her back while jumping on top of her and that at many points during the struggle, the two were face-to-face.

"His eyes were glazed over, and he didn't show any emotion," she said.

Two weeks later, Cargol said, she broke off the engagement but the two remained friends. About a year later, she moved away and cut off all communication with him, even going as far as to block him from sending her any emails.

Young, 37, is now on trial for first-degree murder in the beating death of his pregnant wife, Michelle Fisher Young, on Nov. 3, 2006. A medical examiner testified last week that she had been struck at least 30 times and that there were also signs that someone had tried to strangle her.

Defense attorneys, tried to keep Cargol's testimony from the jury, but Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens allowed it, saying that Michelle Young's wounds were consistent with anger.

Cargol, who met Jason Young in 1995 at North Carolina State University, testified that the altercation happened in 1999 when she confronted him about getting drunk at a lunch.

"He became agitated with me," she said. "He said something to the effect, 'If I'm going to make such a terrible husband, give me my ring back.'"

"I was screaming and yelling for him to get off of me," she added. "I was very upset."

Eventually, Cargol said, he pulled the ring, which was too small for her finger, off her finger, leaving her with a cut, bruises on her arms and rib cage.

About a year later, she moved to Washington D.C. "for a fresh start," Cargol said, and didn't see Jason Young until sometime in 2002 or 2003 at an N.C. State football game in Maryland.

They wrote a few emails afterward, she said, and it was in that exchange that Jason Young told her that his girlfriend had gotten pregnant and that "she was the one for him."

Jason Young and Michelle Fisher celebrated their marriage in October 2003.

Cargol said she didn't hear from Jason Young again until Wednesday when she saw an email from him dated Sept. 12, 2006, that was sent to an old work email of her.

Jurors didn't get to hear the contents of the email, but earlier Thursday, prosecutors introduced the message in which Jason Young confessed his continued love for Cargol. It was signed, "I will always love you."

Also testifying Thursday was Carol Anne Sowerby, a longtime friend of Jason Young, who said that she was visiting from Montana in October 2006 when she had sex with him on his couch.

Michelle Young, she said, was out of town that night, and the Youngs' 2-year-old daughter, was asleep at the time.

Two nights later at dinner with Michelle Young, Jason Young either swallowed or pretended to swallow Sowerby's wedding ring, she said. She never knew for sure whether he did, she added, but she didn't get it back until the next day.

She learned about Michelle Young's death after returning home to Montana.

"I was sad for him," Sowerby said. "I thought he, you know, lost everything."

Sometime later, Jason Young visited her, she added, but she never asked him if he murdered his wife.

"I tried to ask him who he thought would want to do something like that," Sowerby said. "He didn't answer directly. He really didn't want to talk about it and said he had been advised not to talk about it at all."

Defense attorneys admit that Jason Young was obnoxious, juvenile and a bad husband but that those things don't make him a killer. They contend there is no physical evidence to support the state's case that he killed his wife because he wanted to be single.

Prosecutors appear to be nearing the end of their case, saying Thursday that they expect to call six or seven more witnesses.