Jason Young retrial underway

Jason Young on the witness stand

January 18, 2012 3:24:37 PM PST
The second murder trial of Jason Young began Tuesday in Raleigh. The jury selection process is expected to take a couple of weeks.

Young is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his pregnant wife, Michelle. She was found beaten to death in their south Raleigh home in 2006.

Young's first trial ended last June in a mistrial with the jury deadlocked at eight-to-four to acquit.

The following month, Young, 37, was released from jail after posting a $900,000 bond. He had been behind bars since he was arrested in 2009.

There will be some changes in Young's second trial. At the first, witnesses were sequestered - meaning they could not sit in the courtroom while others testified. But because the entire case was laid out publically last year, Judge Don Stephens said he won't sequester jurors this go round.

"It would appear to me that there would be no fundamental basis for a continuation of a sequestration order. And it's my intention to vacate that order," he said.

Young claims he was away on a business trip in Virginia on Nov. 3, 2006 when his wife was killed.

Michelle was five months pregnant when she died. Prosecutors said the couple had a long history of marital problems and Jason had affairs with multiple women in the months before the murder. The Youngs' 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.

In an unusual move for a murder trial, Young took the witness stand in his own defense. He admitted he was a less than perfect husband, but said he was working on his marriage and didn't kill his wife. He said he was asleep in a Hampton Inn in Hillsville, Va. when the murder happened. Prosecutors said he had time to drive back to Raleigh, kill Michelle, and then drive back again.

There's no word if Young will take the stand this time around.

Wake County's assistant district attorney has said she expects the new trial to last about six weeks.

No jurors have been seated yet.

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