Jury selection starts in Young case

Jason Young appears in a Wake County courtroom

May 31, 2011 10:17:52 AM PDT
Four and a half years after the murder of his wife, Jason Young finally went on trial Tuesday.

Defense and prosecution lawyers began the process of picking 12 men and women to serve on his jury. Opening statements aren't expected until next week.

Young was arrested in December 2009 and charged with murdering his pregnant wife, Michelle. He entered a formal not guilty plea at a hearing earlier this month.

Michelle's body was found by her sister in the Young's home south of Raleigh in November, 2006. Michelle, who was 5 months pregnant with the couple's second child, had been beaten to death. The couple's daughter Cassidy was 2-years-old at the time.

Investigators said the killer left Cassidy with her mother's corpse for hours and her bloody footprints were tracked throughout the home on Birchleaf Drive.

Investigators haven't offered a motive for the killing, but in search warrants, they have described the couple's marriage as a "volatile" relationship that included violent arguments. Prosecutors have alleged the Young's were having serious financial and marital problems and that Jason was cheating on Michelle.

Jason - who worked as a pharmaceutical salesman - told investigators he was on a sales trip in Virginia the night his wife died. But in search warrants filed in the case, investigators said a side door at the Hampton Hotel where Young stayed in Hillsville, VA was left propped open. A security camera in a stairwell was also unplugged.

Young is seen in video from another camera walking through the hotel lobby. Detectives said the clothes he was seen wearing have never been recovered.

There was an insurance policy on Michelle's life, but Jason never tried to collect. Not long after her death, he put their house up for sale and took their daughter to the North Carolina mountains where his mother lives.

At every turn, investigators say Young refused to talk about the case, even when Michelle's mother sued him in civil court for wrongful death and custody of Cassidy.

A civil judge declared Jason Young his wife's murderer and another judge gave custody of his child to Michelle's mother and awarded her family more than $15 million.

Send pictures | Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts
Most Popular  |  Follow abc11 on Twitter  |  abc11 on Facebook

Load Comments