Jason Young appeals conviction in Raleigh beating death of wife Michelle

Jason Young's current mug shot (Image courtesy North Carolina Department of Public Safety)
July 30, 2013 3:22:57 PM PDT
Citing a long list of alleged errors made at his trial, Jason Young's defense team asked that his conviction be overturned Tuesday.

Young was found guilty of first-degree murder in March 2012 for the 2006 beating death of his pregnant wife Michelle. Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens sentenced the 39-year-old to life in prison without parole.

In the appeal filing, Young's lawyers contend Judge Stephens should not have allowed jurors to hear about a wrongful death civil lawsuit filed against Young by his wife's family.

The Young's daughter Cassidy - who was 2-years-old at the time - was found unharmed next to her mother's corpse. Investigators said her tiny bloody footprints were tracked throughout the upstairs floor of the home on Raleigh's Birchleaf Drive. In his appeal, Young's lawyers said testimony from Cassidy should not have been allowed at the trial.

Lawyers also say Judge Stepehens should not have instructed the jury that Young's failure to speak with family and friends after his wife's death was "substantive evidence of guilt."

At the trial, a medical examiner testified Michelle was hit in the head at least 30 times. Prosecutors said Young secretly returned from a business trip to Virginia to kill his wife by disabling a surveillance camera to sneak out of his hotel room.

The guilty verdict was the prosecution's second attempt to put Young behind bars. At his first trial - which ended with a deadlocked jury in 2011 - Young took the witness stand and admitted he was a less than perfect husband, but said he was working on his marriage and didn't kill his wife. He did not testify at his second trial, but the jury was shown the video of him testifying.

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