(RALEIGH, N.C.) — The second trial of a man who is accused of beating his pregnant wife to death in their North Carolina home began this week with testimony from the dead woman’s sister that the defendant was unfaithful with multiple mistresses.
Jason Young, 37, is on trial for first-degree murder a second time, after a jury was deadlocked while deliberating last July. Michelle Young was 29 years old and five months pregnant with their second child when she was found face-down in a pool of blood by her sister, Meredith Fisher, in 2006.
Jason Young was released from jail in July 2011 after posting a $900,000 bond but now could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
Fisher went to the couple’s house after receiving a voicemail from Jason Young asking her to do a favor and see if she could find an item in the house near the computer.
In emotional testimony, Fisher described finding her sister, who was a star employee at Progress Energy, beaten with her then 2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, nearby.
“That’s the small of her back, that I touched her and felt that she was cold,” Fisher recalled.
Fisher tried to encourage Cassidy, the only witness and now age 7, to speak on the 911 call: “Sweetie do you know what happened to mommy? Did she fall?” Cassidy responded, “She’s got boo-boos everywhere.”
Young says that he was at a hotel on a business trip in Hillsville, Va., 160 miles from their home in Raleigh, the night that his wife died.
The prosecution argued that Young drove back from Hillsville that night to murder Michelle, and then tampered with the hotel’s security equipment to cover his tracks.
Keith Hicks, a worker at the hotel, testified that he found an unplugged security camera and an open emergency exit door.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Herb Scribner, Deseret News
Jason Hanna, Darran Simon and Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN
AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN