Michelle Young

Prosecution rests in murder trial of Jason Young

Posted June 20, 2011 1:44 p.m. EDT
Updated June 20, 2011 7:53 p.m. EDT

— The lead detective in the investigation of the homicide of Michelle Young spent the morning Monday testifying in her husband's murder trial as Wake County prosecutors wrapped up their case after nine days of testimony.

Michelle Young, 29, was five months’ pregnant when she was found beaten to death in her Wake County home on Nov. 3, 2006. Jason Young has said he was out of town on business at the time and has denied any involvement in his wife’s death.

Sgt. Richard Spivey spent the morning going through surveillance videos, receipts and phone records that laid out the prosecution’s timeline of Jason Young's activity immediately before and after his wife's death.

Jason Young checked into a Hampton Inn in Hillsville, Va., about 169 miles from his home at 5108 Birchleaf Drive, shortly before 11 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2006, after stopping for gasoline in Raleigh and dinner at a Cracker Barrel restaurant, Spivey said.

He was wearing a light-colored sweater, long pants and a pair of brown slip-on casual shoes, based on surveillance video, when he checked into the Hampton Inn, but he appeared to be wearing a darker shirt with a stripe across the chest on hotel video shortly before midnight.

Prosecutors contend that Jason Young left the hotel and drove approximately 2.5 hours to 3 hours to his home and brutally beat his wife to death, leaving the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Cassidy alone in the house with her mother's body.

Spivey said that he noticed two medications known to cause drowsiness – adult-strength Tylenol cold medicine and a prescription drug called Pancof-PD – on a hutch in Cassidy's bedroom. Spivey said he learned that Pancof-PD is manufactured by the same company which employed Jason Young as a pharmaceutical sales representative.

A medicine dropper that contained traces of both substances, as well as the child's DNA, was also on the hutch, he said.

The state says that after killing his wife, Jason Young returned to Virginia, stopping along the way at Four Brothers Food Mart in King, N.C., where he paid $20 for gasoline but only purchased $15 worth. Receipts at the store confirmed a $15 cash purchase for gasoline at 5:27 a.m. and a $20 cash purchase at 5:37 a.m., Spivey said.

Jason Young called his sister-in-law, Meredith Fisher, twice, beginning at 12:10 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2006, Spivey said. Investigators found her phone number written on an atlas in his SUV, he added.

Meredith Fisher, who found her sister's body, has said her brother-in-law wanted her to go to his home to retrieve some printouts from eBay of a belated anniversary gift for his wife.

Those printouts, Spivey said, were for Coach purses up for bidding in auctions that were set to end auction at 7:24 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2006.

Defense attorneys contend that Jason Young did not kill his wife and that there is no physical evidence, not even a drop of blood, linking him to the crime. DNA taken from the home, they say, suggests there were possibly two attackers, as do two set of adult shoe prints – a size-10 Franklin athletic shoe and a size-12 Hush Puppies shoe – found near Michelle Young's body.

Spivey said investigators never recovered either pair of shoes. Nor were they able to find the clothing Jason Young was seen wearing in the surveillance video or other items, including Michelle Young's wedding rings, he said

If convicted, Jason Young faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. The state is not seeking the death penalty.