(RALEIGH, N.C.) — A guilty verdict was handed down Monday in the retrial of Jason Young, accused of murdering his wife in 2006 and nearly acquitted during his first trial in 2011.
The jury deliberated for only six hours before finding him guilty.
Young was retried for the crime after his first trial in June ended with a hung jury. After the verdict Monday, Young was taken into custody immediately to begin serving a life sentence without parole.
Young, 37, was charged with the death of his wife Michelle, 29, who was found face-down in a pool of blood at the couple’s home. Their daughter Cassidy, who was 2 at the time, was discovered hiding under the covers of her parents’ bed. Michelle Young’s sister, Meredith Fischer, found them.
Young claimed to have been away on a business trip on the night of the murder.
During the trial, Chief Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings compared Young’s statements and found inconsistencies, such as what he did on the night of his wife’s death, the shirt he wore to his daughter’s birthday party and his financial situation in 2008.
Day care worker Ashley Palmatier provided dramatic testimony, demonstrating what Young’s daughter, now 7, did and said after the killing, using dolls: “While she was hitting the doll she said mommy’s getting a spanking for biting and when she laid the doll down she said mommy has boo boos all over, red stuff all over.”
A forensic computer examiner testified that “head, blow and knockout” were found to be search terms used on Young’s home computer.
The jury was shown surveillance video from the night of the death of Young checking into a Hampton Inn at 10:49 p.m. The hotel was located about 160 miles from the couple’s Raleigh, N.C., home.
At 11:20 p.m., the hotel’s surveillance footage went black and prosecutors argue that Young tampered with the camera and propped the security door open.
The prosecution claimed that Young left the hotel and drove home to kill his wife and then stopped on his way back to get gas at 5 a.m., where he argued with the station’s attendant, according to the gas attendant’s testimony.
“I don’t forget nothing like that, when somebody is cussing and fussing at me,” the attendant said.
The defense argued that Young didn’t have enough time to kill his wife and that there was no blood in his SUV. They also questioned the witnesses’ credibility.
After going into deliberations around 9:30 a.m. Monday, the jury requested a list of items entered into evidence to go over in the jury room, including clothes worn by Young, his wife, and his daughter, photos from the crime scene, Young’s luggage from his business trip, and photos of Young at a restaurant the night of the murder.
They returned with a guilty verdict at 3:48 p.m.
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