Michelle Young

Emails highlight problems in Young marriage

Posted June 17, 2011 6:45 p.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2011 7:39 a.m. EDT

— Emails entered into evidence this week in the trial of a Raleigh man accused of beating his pregnant wife to death nearly five years ago substantiated the problems in the couple's marriage that witnesses have described over the past two weeks.

Jason Young, 37, is accused of first-degree murder in the Nov. 3, 2006, death of his wife, Michelle Young, 29. She was five months’ pregnant with their second child when she was found in a pool of blood the bedroom of the couple's home.

Jason Young has said he was out of town at the time and has denied any involvement in his wife’s death.

Despite living in the same house, the couple found email was an easier way to communicate, according to witnesses.

The three emails, which jurors saw Friday, appear to support Wake County Assistant District Attorney Becky Holt's claims in opening statements that Jason Young didn't want to be married and that he killed his wife so that he could "live life on his own terms."

In an Oct. 24, 2006, email exchange recovered from the Youngs' family computer, Jason Young wrote:

"I enjoy my freedom and being independent and I feel like when I go through the process of 'clearing' something with you (which we USED to fight about me not 'clearing' stuff and just doing at the drop of a hat …), I should be able to follow through with it and make a decision for myself."

Several witnesses, including Michelle Young's mother Linda Fisher, have testified that the couple frequently argued and that it appeared they had more bad days in their marriage than they did good days.

The same email exchange refers to the communication problems in their marriage.

"I do wish we could talk like this in person. Our communication is one of the things that I hope you and I can really improve upon in counseling together …" Michelle Young wrote.

Witnesses have testified that the Youngs disagreed about Fisher's visits to the Young home and the frequency of sex in the marriage.

On Fisher's visit, Jason Young writes that he doesn't want his mother-in-law staying very long with them, calling her previous visits "extreme," and he proposes a "cap" of four days and three nights her visits.

About their sexual issues, he wrote:

"I am not opposed to going to a counselor, but I am standing by what we agreed upon and that is for YOU to go figure out the sexual issues of your past and for you to discuss your parents[sic] divorce and relationship issues first. I don't think you will ever take the initiative any other way. After that, if we still need to see a counselor for you and I, then fine."

Another email, dated Sept. 12, 2006, is a message that Jason Young sent to his former fiancée, who testified Thursday.

Genevieve Cargol said that Jason Young attacked her in 1999 during an argument and that he tried to remove her engagement ring from her finger, leaving her with a cut on her hand and bruises on her arms and rib cage.

She testified that she never received the email, which had been sent to an email account she no longer used.

In that message, Jason Young wrote:

"I wish we could have dated and grown in maturity a few more years together, but it simply wasn't meant to be. Timing is almost as important as love and feelings, it just doesn't withstand eternity … which unfortunately for me, is what I have to live with now."

He continued:

"I will always love you even though I know we will never be together … I don't want to have sleepless nights and I don't want you to be full of 'woulda coulda shoulda's' … it's not always that fun. I have rambled far too much already. I have got so much I want to say, but it would just come out as an incoherent mess, so I will leave it at this; I love you Genevieve Ann Jacobs Cargol. I know that it inappropriate for a married man to be saying to a married woman, but I do. I always have and I always will."

Jason Young's defense attorneys say that their client wasn't a good husband but that he did not kill his wife. They are expected to begin presenting evidence in their case next week.

After calling 36 witnesses over the past two weeks, the state expects to call its final witness, the lead investigator in the case, Monday morning.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Jason Young faces life in prison.