Young trial focuses on gas purchases

Surveillance video shown in court shows Jason Young putting gas in his Ford Explorer Nov. 2, 2006.

February 21, 2012 11:50:21 AM PST
A lead investigator in the 2006 death of Michelle Young took the witness stand again Tuesday in the murder trial of her husband Jason.

Sgt. Richard Spivey gave detailed testimony about Jason's movements on the day before the murder and the night Michelle Young was killed - including detailed information about where and when he purchased gasoline.

The jury was shown surveillance video of Jason putting gas in his white Ford Explorer November 2, 2006. There was also video from a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Greensboro, where he told his wife and her friend he'd be stopping for dinner.

Video was also shown of Jason checking into a Hampton Inn in Hillsville, Virginia.

Michelle Young's sister found her beaten to death Nov. 3, 2006 in her home on Birchleaf Drive in south Raleigh. A medical examiner's report said she was hit in the head at least 30 times. The couple's 2-year-old daughter was found in the home with the body. She was physically unharmed.

Investigators said it appeared the child was left with the bloody corpse for hours and her bloody footprints were tracked throughout the upstairs of the home.

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, and his lawyers have said he did not have time to be all the places prosecutors claim he went.

On the witness stand Tuesday, Sgt. Spivey said detectives carefully traced where Young went between Raleigh and Virginia. He catalogued information gleaned from Young's credit card receipts, and matched it up with surveillance video of him buying gas at various filling stations.

Spivey said after Young checked into the hotel in Hillsville just before 11 p.m. on Nov. 2, he was seen again at the front desk in different clothing.

"Doesn't appear he was wearing same top he was wearing earlier when he checked into the hotel, it appears he changed clothes," Spivey offered.

Spivey said that shirt has never been found.

The detective also said hotel employees told him a surveillance camera in a stairwell leading to the outside of the hotel was unplugged.

Prosecutors claim Young had enough time from the last time he was seen at the hotel to get to Raleigh, kill his wife, and get back again. Spivey testified investigators had a deputy drive the route in a SUV similar to Young's.

"One of our deputies drove the route soon after the murder occurred in a Ford Explorer. I think he got there in two hours 25 minutes," said Spivey. "I believe he drove it in the middle of the night and early morning hours."

A gas station clerk who claims Young was rude to her when he purchased fuel in King, NC around 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 3 has already testified in the trial.

Young's lawyers have challenged her testimony, saying she only identified Young after detectives showed her a picture of him.

It's Young's second murder trial. His second ended last June with a deadlocked jury. 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.

That testimony was replayed for the current jury Tuesday afternoon.

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