Michelle Young

Jason Young released from jail on $900K bond

Posted July 28, 2011 1:00 p.m. EDT
Updated July 28, 2011 4:30 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh man who faces a second murder trial in connection with his pregnant wife's slaying nearly five years ago was released from jail Thursday after his parents posted a $900,000 secured bond.

Jason Young's first-degree murder trial ended in a mistrial last month after a jury was unable to decide whether the 37-year-old beat Michelle Young to death inside their home on Nov. 3, 2006.

Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens agreed to accept five pieces of property, valued at $1.1 million, owned by Jason Young's mother, Pat Young, as collateral for the release.

Young, wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans – the same clothes he was wearing when he was arrested nearly two years ago – left the Wake County jail without comment around 2:20 p.m.

Stephens set the bond last week after defense attorneys assured him that their client is not a flight risk while he awaits for a new trial – scheduled for Oct. 10.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings opposed the bond and reminded Stephens that the case involved “a very brutal murder of a fine person."

"The state's contention in this case is that some of the evidence involved has been disposed of, either by the defendant or by persons on his behalf," Cummings said.

As a condition of his release, Jason Young is prohibited from having any contact with any of the state's witnesses.

He is also allowed supervised visitation with his daughter, Cassidy, who is in the custody of Michelle Young's sister, Meredith Fisher.

Fisher had no comment Thursday. Michelle Young's mother, Linda Fisher, could not be reached.

Michelle Young was found facedown on the bedroom floor of the couple's home. An autopsy found she died of blunt force injury to the head after taking at least 30 blows. There were also signs that she had been strangled.

Jason Young, who was arrested in December 2009, testified during his trial last month that he was out of town at the time his wife was killed and that he had no involvement in her death.

Legal experts say his decision to testify could have been a factor in the hung jury.

Jurors deliberated for more than 12 hours before sending a note to Stephens that they were stuck at an 8-4 vote. It appeared by markings on the note that the jury had been leaning toward a not-guilty verdict.

Jurors have declined interviews about the case, but the jury foreman told WRAL News that there was no doubt to him that there was reasonable doubt in the case.

The state contended during the nearly three-week trial that Jason Young and his wife argued frequently and that he didn't want to be married but didn't want a divorce.

Prosecutors claim that he checked into a Virginia hotel on the night of Nov. 2, 2006, and drove 169 miles back to his home, killed his wife and drove back to the hotel.

Meredith Fisher discovered her sister's body and Cassidy, then 2, who was unharmed, inside the home after getting a voicemail from Jason Young asking her to go to the home to retrieve some documents from a printer.

Defense attorneys argued that someone else, possibly two people, killed Michelle Young, noting DNA evidence found inside the house didn't match Jason Young.

There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, his attorneys said. He didn't have time to commit the crime, and even circumstantial evidence showed that he didn't do it, they said.