Victim's mother says Young behaved strangely

Michelle Young's mother Linda Fisher on the witness stand.

February 10, 2012 11:52:00 AM PST
Michelle Young's mother Linda Fisher took the witness stand Friday in the murder trial of her son-in-law.

Jason Young is accused of beating his pregnant wife to death in November, 2006. Michelle's sister found her in a pool of blood in an upstairs bedroom the morning of Nov. 3. Detectives said the couple's 2-year-old daughter Cassidy was left in the home with the body for hours.

Prosecutors allege Jason returned from a business trip in Virginia in the middle of the night to kill his wife and then secretly returned to his hotel room in Hillsville.

Young maintains he never left the hotel.

In her testimony, Linda Fisher described a rocky relationship between her daughter and Young. She described him as extremely immature, and said they fought loudly and often in her presence.

Despite that, she said she tried to stay positive.

"I did want it to work between Michelle and Jason," she said.

But Fisher said the relationship continued to decline. One issue in the marriage centered around the couple's sex life. Fisher said she was told Jason complained often that he wasn't getting enough sex.

"I said if someone was treating you the way he is treating Michelle, would you want to sleep with him," Fisher said she told Jason's mother Pat Young.

Fisher said she found herself trying to coach Young on how to be romantic with her daughter.

"I told him not to have an affair because it will ruin your marriage," she said.

Fisher broke down as she recounted her daughter's growing despondency about the situation.

"I just felt like she was totally void," Fisher said between sobs.

After she learned of her daughter's death, Fisher said she repeatedly tried to call Young, but he never called him back. When she later saw him at a family gathering, she said she was stunned when the only comment he has was that he was "going to take a hit on the house."

Fisher said Young already had a lawyer and refused to cooperate in any way with the police investigation, which she found strange.

Fisher also said Young's family told her that if she didn't come out publically in support of Jason they would cut off her ability to see her granddaughter.

At the end of Fisher's questioning by the prosecution, the defense had no questions.

High school friend testifies

Next on the stand after Fisher was Michelle's long-time friend Jennifer Powers. She testified that Michelle called her when she learned she was pregnant with her first child and told her Jason wanted her to get an abortion.

"She was hysterically crying. And she said to me, 'You have to promise to keep a secret for the rest of your life. I have to tell you something. I'm pregnant and Jason wants me to abort the baby or, he said, he will resent me and the baby for the rest of our lives,'" said Powers.

Later, Powers said Michelle called her back and said she and Jason were engaged. An abortion was never mentioned again.

The defense did not ask Powers any questions.

Therapist testifies

Also on the witness stand Friday was Jane Kimball Sargent. She said Michelle came to her for therapy, but Jason wasn't interested in couple's counseling.

Sargent said the couple's relationship got so bad in the weeks before the murder they were only communicating by email.

She testified that Michelle complained about Jason's drinking, their fights, and how he didn't keep up with chores. Sargent also said money and a lack of sex were frequent issues in the marriage.

"There was a lot of storming out," said Sargent.

After Sargent's testimony, Judge Donald Stephens sent the jury home for the weekend.

It's Young's second trial. The 37-year-old's first trial ended last June with the jury deadlocked at eight-to-four to acquit.

It's not clear if Young plans to testify in his own defense. At his first trial, Young took the witness stand and admitted he and Michelle were having problems, but said he was working on his marriage and didn't kill his wife.

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