Jason Young, convicted of killing pregnant wife, seeks third trial

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Thursday, June 15, 2017
No ruling Thursday on Jason Young appeal
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Jason Young was convicted of beating his wife to death.

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Raleigh man convicted of killing his pregnant wife 11 years ago, is seeking freedom with a third trial.

Jason Young is serving a life sentence at the Alexander Correctional Institution in Alexander County for the death of his wife Michelle. She was five months pregnant in November 2006 when her bloody body was found in their bedroom with their unharmed daughter. She was beaten to death.

The daughter - who was 2-years-old at the time - tracked tiny bloody footprints throughout the upstairs floor of the home on Birchleaf Drive.

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Jason Young was charged years later with the crime.

Jason and Michelle families were in court Thursday morning as a hearing for a third trial began. Young has requested a new trial, claiming his attorneys did not effectively fight introduction of a civil case naming him as the murderer.

Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins was the first defense witness called to the stand. He was a Wake County public defender and represented Young when Young was convicted.

Young was convicted of killing Michelle in March, 2012. At his first trial in 2011, a jury couldn't come to a verdict deadlocking 8-to-4 for acquittal. Eight months later, he was tried again and convicted, after prosecutors introduced evidence that wasn't used in the first trial.

In April 2014, the state Court of Appeals said the judge at the second trial shouldn't have allowed evidence about a wrongful death lawsuit and child custody complaint.

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Young listens as his lawyer Mike Klinkosum makes opening remarks during his retrial on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012.
AP Photo/ Shawn Rocco

In his first trial, Young took the witness stand and admitted he was a less than perfect husband, but said he was working on his marriage and didn't kill his wife. He did not testify at his second trial, but the jury was shown the video of him testifying.

The judge overseeing the civil case had previously declared Young responsible for his wife's death after he failed to respond to the claims of Michelle's relatives in civil court. The default judgment in civil court did not declare innocence or guilt in the criminal case.

Since then, the conviction was vacated by the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the order for a new trial halted by the North Carolina Supreme Court, which sent the case back to the Court of Appeals. The appeals court ruled last year that an evidentiary hearing should be held in Wake County Superior Court.

There was no ruling on Young's appeal Thursday.

RELATED: North Carolina Supreme Court rejects third trial for Jason Young