Store clerk says Young purchased gas

Gracie Dahms worked as a clerk at the Four Brothers convenience store in King, North Carolina in 2006.

June 10, 2011 1:29:15 PM PDT
A convenience store clerk testified Friday that she saw Jason Young the night he claims he was sleeping in a motel room 50 miles away.

Young, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in the November 3, 2006 beating death of his wife Michelle. He told investigators he was on a business trip in Virginia the night Michelle died.

Investigators said the killer left the Young's 2-year-old daughter Cassidy with her mother's corpse for hours and her bloody footprints were tracked throughout the home on Birchleaf Drive in Raleigh.

Prosecutors contend Young left the Hampton Inn where he was staying in Hillsville Virginia and returned to the Triangle to kill Michelle.

On the witness stand Friday, Gracie Dahms - who was a clerk at the Four Brothers convenience store in King, North Carolina - said she recalled Jason Young's white SUV coming in for gas around 5:30 a.m. November 3.

Dahms testified the incident stuck in her mind because Young was rude to her. She said because of the early hour, customers were required to either use a credit card or prepay before the gas pumps were turned on.

Dahms said this irritated Young who came inside the store to talk to her.

"He started cussing me and stuff," Dahms told the jury.

"He threw a 20 at me and only got 15 [in gas]" Dahms continued.

On cross-examination, a Young defense attorney challenged Dahms' memory. He asked if detectives asked her to describe Young before showing her a picture of him. She said she couldn't recall if they had. The attorney also pointed out that at a previous hearing Dahms was asked if Young was bald or had hair, and she testified she thought he "had a little bit." Young has a full head of hair.

In her followup questions, prosecutor Rebecca Holt asked how Dahms was sure it was Young.

"I don't forget anyone that cusses me," Dahms responded.

She said her experiences with an ex-husband made that so.

"You're sure this is the man?" Holt asked.

"Yes," said Dahms.

Dahms testimony Friday came on the heels of several witnesses on Thursday who testified they were working at the Hampton Inn in Hillsville when Young stayed there. They said a surveillance camera in a stairwell was unplugged by someone and a door leading outside was propped open with a rock November 3.

Prosecutors say the Youngs were having serious marital problems and Jason was cheating on Michelle before the murder.

The defense says it doesn't deny he was a less than model husband, but that doesn't make him a killer.

Young moved to the North Carolina mountains with his daughter after Michelle's death. It would be two years before he was charged with her murder. He faces life in prison if convicted.

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