Local/State

Women speak of affairs with Young

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Two women testified they were sexually involved with Jason Young before his wife's murder Thursday.

Young is on trial for the second time in the death of his wife Michelle. She was beaten to death in their south Raleigh home on Nov. 3. 2006. The 29-year-old was pregnant with the couple's second child when she died. Their first child - who was 2-years-old at the time - was found in a bed next to the body. She was unharmed.

Prosecutors allege Jason returned from a business trip in Virginia in the middle of the night to kill his wife and then secretly returned to his hotel room in Hillsville. Young maintains he never left the hotel.

On the witness stand Thursday, Montana resident Carol Anne Sowerby said she knew Young from a North Carolina summer camp she attended as a teen. He taught kayaking.

Tearfully, Sowerby said she came to visit the Youngs in the fall of 2006 to take a real estate course. She said she learned after she arrived that Michelle was out of town.

On the second night of her visit, Sowerby said she and Young had drinks and then wound up having sex on the couch while 2-year-old Cassidy slept upstairs.

As her testimony continued Thursday, Sowerby recounted a bizarre incident the day after she and Jason had sex. She said Jason asked to see her wedding ring and then swallowed it - or pretended to swallow it.

Sowerby said Young told her she couldn't get it back until "it passed."

Sowerby said Young returned the ring to her the next morning.

After her return to Montana, Sowerby said she learned of Michelle's death.

Jason moved to the North Carolina mountains with his daughter after Michelle's death. It would be two years before he was charged with her murder.

Sowerby said he visited her in Montana during that time. She testified she felt sorry for him.

At Young's first trial, Sowerby said she finally broke off all contact with Young at the request of her father who was visited by Wake County detectives. She said she had only recently told her husband about the sexual encounter in 2006.

Second woman admits affair

Also on the witness stand Thursday was Michelle Money - a former sorority sister of Michelle Young's who has admitted to having an affair with Jason. Phone records show Money and Jason repeatedly called each other in the days before Michelle's murder - including the night she died.

Money said she first met Young at his wedding and her relationship with him began with discussions about concerns she had about her own husband's infidelity.

Money said phone conversations began, and Young later travelled to Florida to see her. She explained the excuse Young used with Michelle to visit her in Florida in Oct. 2006.

"He could say he had a business trip in Florida," said Money.

After that visit, Money testified that she and Young decided not to continue their physical relationship, but continued to be friends.

"We would talk regularly about work and life and kids," said Money.

After Michelle's death, Money said she and Jason discussed the media circus that surrounded them. She eventually broke off all contact with Young when police detectives warned her to.

Former fiancé testifies about fight

Jason Young's former fiancé also took the witness stand Thursday and told a jury about a physical fight with him when they were still in college.

In an attempt to show Young is capable of physical violence, prosecutors called Genevieve Cargol to testify about an altercation she had with Young when they were engaged. Cargol said she and Young were attending a wedding in Texas when he became very intoxicated. She said there had been arguments about Young's drinking in the past, and she brought it up again.

Cargol said Young became very angry and demanded his ring back. Cargol said the ring had always been too small and getting it off wasn't easy.

This made Young angrier, and a physical struggle ensued.

"With all his weight, he jumped on me," said Cargol.

She testified the struggle continued until Young was able to get the ring off her hand.

"I had never seen him like that before. His eyes were completely empty and deserted and glazed over like he wasn't seeing me," said Cargol.

Cargol also recounted other incidents where Young became very angry with her. She said once he broke the windshield of her car by punching it with his bare hand. She also said they argued in an apartment and he damaged a wall by punching it.

The prosecution has painted Young as an immature man who fought frequently with his wife and had multiple affairs. It alleges he tampered with a surveillance camera at his hotel and was spotted by a gas station clerk buying gas between Hillsville and Raleigh.

It's not clear if Young plans to testify in his own defense as he did in his first trial. The first ended with a hung jury last June. At his first trial, Young took the witness stand and admitted he and Michelle were having problems, but said he was working on his marriage and didn't kill his wife.

The trial is expected to last several more weeks.

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jason young, michelle young, local/state
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