Young trial juror explains what led to conviction

March 7, 2012 4:38:15 AM PST
One of the jurors who convicted Jason Young of killing his wife Monday told ABC11 exclusively that she believes he may have had an accomplice.

Natasha Baldwin said she and her fellow jurors are positive that Young killed his wife, Michelle. However, they were doubtful he could have done it alone.

Young, investigators said, planned an alibi: a business trip to Virginia with a stay in a hotel three hours away. But, how could he have made that drive, beat his wife to death, cleaned the blood off himself and his toddler daughter, and made it back to Virginia by 6 a.m. without leaving a trace of evidence?

"He would have had to have, and probably had, help," said Baldwin. "Probably did have help. That's what we had surmised. We were leaning strongly to that possibility."

Baldwin, an accountant, lives with her husband and two young sons in north Raleigh. She is one of twelve men and women who convicted Young of the Nov. 2006 murder of his pregnant wife.

Baldwin said they began their deliberation with a simple poll.

"It ended up being about half and half, so six for guilty, six undecided," said Baldwin.

However, not all six were undecided.

"Initially I had said 'not guilty,'" said Baldwin. "Not so much that I didn't necessarily believe he had committed the murder, but I just didn't know if the evidence was heavy enough to make that conviction beyond a reasonable doubt."

Baldwin said it was a tough decision to make, especially without a smoking gun.

"When you consider sending someone to prison for the rest of their life, you want hard evidence," said Baldwin. "And you want a good amount of it. But that just wasn't the case."

To Baldwin, the closest thing to that was a bloody shoe print that matched a pair of shoes Jason Young used to own. She said it was different evidence that convinced other jurors but, in the end, all agreed that the law allowed them to convict on overwhelming circumstantial evidence.

A pivotal point of discussion was evidence that little Cassidy Young had tracked her mother's blood around the house, but had no blood on her when her aunt found her at the murder scene.

"Who would do that except for someone who cared about her," said Baldwin. "Certainly a burglar or a stranger would not take that kind of time."

Baldwin said she wasn't bothered by Young not testifying since she saw his taped testimony from the first trial.

As for a possible accomplice, prosecutors said while the case is no longer active, they are willing to listen to any information that would warrant reopening it.

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