Jason Young asks for public defender

RALEIGH Young was arrested in Brevard Monday - just over three years after Michelle Young was found beaten to death in her Wake County home.

"He was stopped on the road in a traffic stop and was placed under arrest," Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said.

Young was driven to Raleigh by investigators from the Wake County Sheriff's Office and the SBI who have been working the case for years.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison wouldn't say if Young said anything to investigators on the hours-long ride to the Triangle.

Court documents state that "on or about November 3, 2006 ... (Young) unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did of malice aforethought kill and murder Michelle Fisher Young."

Michelle was pregnant with the couple's second child at the time of her death.

Jason Young refused to talk with investigators in the years since the murder, and he refused to respond to civil lawsuits.

He lost all of his assets to Michelle's mother and was declared his wife's murderer in a wrongful death case.

And he lost his daughter, Cassidy, who was 2 years old at the time of the murder. The toddler was found unharmed inside the house near her mother's body.

"What she went through and no telling what that child saw, uh, yes, it's weighed heavily on my mind and our investigators' minds," Harrison said.

Legal experts suggest Young didn't contest the civil cases filed against him so as to avoid talking about the murder in court, but investigators say they watched those cases closely to see if Jason would try to collect his wife's life insurance money.

"There was an issue about insurance proceeds," Willoughby said. "There was also a wrongful death civil suit that was initiated against him. There was a custody matter that was initiated against him. And in each of those there was information that was gathered that was helpful in this case."

And there was much, much more circumstantial evidence laid out in search warrants and other court documents.

They indicated the Young's were having serious financial and marital problems and that Jason was cheating on Michelle.

Just last month Harrison promised an arrest in the case soon.

"We hate to see anything like this," Harrison said. "It's two families just torn apart and it will never be repaired. But we definitely need some closure in this and we definitely need to go in this direction and I feel good about it."

Since the murder, Jason Young was a person of interest, but police never named him a suspect.

People who live in subdivision where Michelle has killed say they're not surprised that Jason Young is charged, and they're glad authorities never forgot about the case.

"There's a great sense of relief that the case is on its way to being solved," neighbor Pat Hunnell said.

Hunnell says initially, neighbors were on edge.

"The unknown, I think, had people much more concerned than the actual who did it," she said. "After those initial few days, people really took a deep breath and heard what law enforcement was saying and realized that it was a really awful, but unique incident."

Hunnell says Young was around for a while after the murder, but he eventually emptied out the house and moved away.

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