Young trial loses juror

Jason Young listens to testimony in a Wake County courtroom.

June 15, 2011 4:56:12 PM PDT
Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens announced Wednesday that the Jason Young murder trial has lost a juror.

The woman's place will be taken by one of four alternates for the rest of the case.

Stephens said the woman - who lives in Fuquay-Varina - does not have a car and was relying on someone else for a ride to and from court. On Wednesday, she couldn't get a ride.

"She obviously wants to serve and her conduct has been very appropriate," said Stephens.

The judge said he had the option of sending a Wake County Sheriff's deputy to drive the woman, but opted not to because Young's lawyers have challenged the quality of the investigative work done by the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

"It would be inappropriate for an agent of that agency to be transporting a juror," said Stephens.

Young, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in the November 3, 2006 beating death of his wife Michelle. She was 5-months pregnant with the couple's second child when she died. Jason told investigators he was on a business trip in Virginia the night of the murder.

Lover testifies

In court Tuesday, Florida resident Michelle Money admitted that she had an affair with Young.

Money - a college friend of Young's wife Michelle - said she and Michelle met while they were undergraduates at NC State. They were also sorority sisters.

Money said she later met Jason at his wedding to Michelle, and saw him again at gatherings that included the couple.

Money said her relationship with Jason began with discussions about concerns she had about her own husband's infidelity.

Money said phone conversations began, and Young later travelled to Florida to see her. She explained the excuse Young used with Michelle.

"He could say he had a business trip in Florida," said Money.

"We had an intimate relationship for the two days that he was there," Money continued.

While the two never met for sex again, Money said they continued their phone conversations.

She said she and Jason spoke the night of November 2, 2006 and again on the morning of the 3rd. She said learned of Michelle's murder from her mother who called the evening of the 3rd.

Money said she flew to Raleigh the next morning to be with Michelle's family. She testified she did not try to contact Jason.

She said she saw him at Michelle's sister's house, and gave him a hug. She said she left Raleigh the day after Michelle's funeral. Money said she did not speak with Jason one-on-one while she was in Raleigh.

As part of the investigation, Money said detectives questioned her in detail about the phone calls and messages between her and Jason. She also said detectives told her husband about the affair.

Prosecutors say in addition to Jason's infidelity, the Youngs were having serious marital and financial problems. Money said she didn't witness any fights or major problems during the times she was with the couple.

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.

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

Jason 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.

Money said she met with Jason in 2007 and they spent hours talking. She said they did not talk about the murder, but talked about the media circus that enveloped both of them for a while after Michelle died. Money said she had media at her door and multiple visits from detectives.

"It was very traumatic for me," said Money. "The national TV shows started putting my name out there as the other woman."

Under cross-examination from Young's defense attorneys, Money said there was no tension or anything out of the ordinary in Young's voice when she spoke to him on the night of November 2. She also said he sounded normal when she spoke with him on the 3rd before Michelle's body was discovered.

She also testified they both knew there was no future in their relationship and that they were both fine with that.

Jason Young faces life in prison if convicted.

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