Michelle Young

Jury deliberates in Jason Young's murder trial

Posted June 24, 2011 5:29 p.m. EDT
Updated June 26, 2011 1:48 p.m. EDT

— The jury deciding the fate of a Raleigh man on trial for killing his pregnant wife spent its first full day Friday deliberating a verdict after 11 days of testimony in the case.

The seven men and five women spent about six hours deliberating and reviewing evidence, including security video, a DNA report and a transcript of a 911 call, before asking to go home shortly before 5:30 p.m.

Jason Young, 37, is accused of beating Michelle Young to death inside the couple's Wake County home more than four years ago. He has said he was in Virginia on business at the time.

Prosecutors say he returned home to Raleigh in the early hours of Nov. 3, 2006, and committed the crime before returning to Virginia and continuing on with his trip.

Michelle Young's sister discovered the body hours later, as well as the Youngs' 2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, unharmed and hiding under the covers of her parents' bed.

Her bloody footprints were all over the crime scene.

Jurors, who spent about two hours deliberating Thursday, were given a dry-erase board, flip board and markers Friday morning.

Around 11:30 a.m., they asked to see nine pieces of evidence, including a security video showing Jason Young's shoes as he left a restaurant on the evening of Nov. 2, 2006.

Investigators found a shoe print matching a pair of shoes that Jason Young purchased a year earlier and that he admitted to wearing frequently. He testified, however, that Michelle Young had gotten rid of the shoes when they became unfit to wear.

Jurors also wanted to see the clothes he was wearing in a photo of his daughter's third birthday party. Prosecutors say investigators were never able to find a dark shirt with a stripe across the chest that he was seen wearing in surveillance video image after he checked into a Virginia hotel on Nov. 2, 2006.

In the birthday photo, Jason Young is wearing a dark blue shirt with a stripe across the chest.

Other exhibits the jury requested were a still frame of him walking down a hotel hallway, crime scene photos of Cassidy's bathroom, MapQuest directions and a Sept. 12, 2006 email that Jason Young sent to his former fiancée in which he wrote that he would always love her.

Defense attorneys for Jason Young argued Thursday that their client did not kill his wife and that DNA evidence from the crime scene suggests that possibly two people were inside the house at the time of Michelle Young's death.

"We will never know what happened at 5108 Birchleaf Drive that night," defense attorney Bryan Collins told jurors during closing arguments Thursday. "This case is not solved. The evidence is not clear."

Prosecutors, however, said that the evidence in its totality proves otherwise.

"The evidence that you have heard shows that there is only one person who could possibly want Michelle dead, and that's why we're here," Assistant District Attorney David Saacks said.