Still no arrest in Michelle Young murder

February 11, 2009 5:39:48 PM PST
Investigators have made little secret of the fact that Jason Young is their main suspect in the murder of his wife Michelle.The pregnant woman was found beaten to death in her home south of Raleigh in November 2006.

In the two years in between, lots of evidence gathered by detectives has been made public in court documents. They show detectives apparently trying to build a case against Jason Young.

Throughout that time, Karl Knudsen, a former prosecutor and long-time defense attorney, has analyzed the documents for Eyewitness News.

We had him look at search warrants in the case that were released Tuesday.

Click here to read the warrants

The first thing that caught his eye was that the DNA of the then 2-year-old Cassidy Young was found on a dropper for an adult medicine that causes drowsiness. The little girl was found next to her mother's body.

"It would probably be the state's conclusion that the child was drugged at or about the time of the commission of the offense," offered Knudsen.

The medication, found in Cassidy's room, is apparently a sample of a drug that Jason Young sold as a pharmaceutical rep. Knudsen says that is just one example of important evidence that took a long time to ferret out.

He says this investigation is one of the most thorough he's ever seen and that prosecutors and detectives have time on their side.

"It just seems to me that the longer the investigation goes on, the more little things that they get," he said. "This is how you classically built a circumstantial evidence case."

Another thing mentioned in the warrants released Tuesday was that size 10 footprints were found at the crime scene. Jason Young apparently wears a size 12, but detectives state in the warrants that Young's feet were photographed right after the murder and he had blisters that appeared to show he had been wearing shoes that were too small for him.

For the record, the Wake prosecutor handling the case says there's still physical and financial evidence that's being evaluated and reports that have not yet been completed.

Michelle Young's family has sued Jason Young in civil court. He did not show up for the case, and a judge ruled he was responsible for his wife's death. It means he cannot collect on her life insurance.

They also challenged his custody of daughter Cassidy and he agreed to sign over primary custody to Michelle's sister.

By not fighting in both cases, Jason Young avoided having to answer questions on the witness stand about his wife's death.

"He made what was obviously, or would obviously be, an extremely difficult decision to make - to give up custody of your only child to avoid answering questions," Knudsen explained.

Knudsen says while that may convict Young in the court of public opinion, a judge might not allow a jury to hear that evidence. It's more reason, he believes, it may still be at least a little longer before an arrest is made in Michelle Young's murder.

After a transition period of the next few months, Cassidy Young, who is now 4-years-old, is scheduled to be turned over to her aunt on August 1.


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