Jason Young May Take Witness Stand in Retrial
(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Defense attorneys are spending the weekend deciding whether Jason Young, the North Carolina man who is on trial a second time for allegedly killing his pregnant wife, should take the stand on Monday.
Young, 37, was originally tried in 2006 for the death of his 29-year-old wife, Michelle, and is now back in court for first-degree murder charges after the trial ended in a deadlocked jury in June.
Young took the stand in his first trial and admitted he and his wife were having problems, however he denied killing his wife and said he had been on a business trip at the time of her murder.
Prosecutors are taking a closer look at his first trial testimony, comparing it to previous evidence submitted by the lead investigator.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings compared Young’s statements to find 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.
Prosecutors called their final witness, a family attorney who represented Michelle Young’s family in a custody dispute on Friday.
Attorney Mike Schilawski told the jury he was hired after Young cut off visitation of the couple’s young daughter to his wife’s mother and sister.
Linda and Meredith Fischer, the mother and sister of Michelle Young, sued for custody of Cassidy Young, who was 2 years old at the time of her mother’s 2006 murder.
Had Young chosen to fight the lawsuit, he would have been subjected to questioning under oath—allowing attorneys to ask him what he knew about his wife’s murder. Instead, he ceded custody to his in-laws.
When Cummings asked Schilawski what he would have asked Young, he replied, “I would have asked him whether or not he brutally murdered his wife.”
The defense argued Young did not have the money to engage in a costly legal battle and that his relinquishment of custody should not be seen as an implication of guilt, ABC affiliate WTVD reported.
Meredith Fischer found her sister face-down in a pool of blood with the couple’s 2-year-old daughter and only possible witness, Cassidy, hiding under the covers of her parents’ bed.
If convicted, Young could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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