Family cut ties after Michelle Young's murder
RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Jason Young's mother testified at his murder trial Tuesday about how tensions between her family and Michelle Young's family quickly escalated after Michelle's death.
Jason is on trial for the second time in Michelle's death. He's accused of beating her to death in their south Raleigh home in November 2006. Their daughter Cassidy - who was just 2-years-old at the time - was found next to the bloody corpse.
Prosecutors allege Young returned from a business trip in Virginia in the middle of the night to kill his wife and then secretly went back to his hotel room in Hillsville. Young maintains he never left the hotel.
Much of the testimony in the trial has centered around Jason's actions after Michelle's murder. Police officers have testified he refused to cooperate with the investigation and Michelle's family said the Young family cut off their visitation rights with Cassidy.
Jason's mother Pat Young tried to explain that on the witness stand Tuesday - saying suspicions between the two families began at the funeral services. She claimed a cemetery worker recounted a conversation she overheard between Michelle's mother Linda and her sister Meredith.
"She came to me the night of the receiving of the friends that she had heard Linda tell Meredith that they ought to just take Cassidy and go."
Pat Young said they stopped Michelle's family from seeing the child and even returned Christmas presents they sent unopened.
Michelle's family eventually sued for visitation rights and ended up getting full-time custody of Cassidy. Prosecutors maintain Jason signed away his parental rights in order to avoid answering questions about his wife's death in a civil trial. Young's defense claims he didn't have the money for a protracted legal fight and gave up.
Under cross-examination Tuesday, the exchanges between Pat Young and prosecutor Howard Cummings grew testy at times as he challenged her defense of her son's behavior.
At one point, there was back and forth over whether she agreed to stretch the truth while talking to a financial broker. Cummings suggested she wasn't completely honest when explaining why Young wasn't available to speak with the broker. She steadily maintained she didn't lie.
"What was the reason that he wanted you to give them as to why he couldn't talk to them?" Cummings asked.
"That his nights were busy with other things and he was not available," said Pat Young.
"He was asking you to say something that was not the truth?" asked Cummings.
"His nights were not available. There's no way they could communicate with him while he was in jail so his nights were not available," she responded.
After Pat Young's testimony, two witnesses said they saw a car at the Young home at the same time other witnesses placed Jason in Virginia.
Fay Hensley - who lives in the neighborhood - said she saw a SUV parked on the edge of the Young's driveway around six in the morning the day Michelle Young was found murdered. Earlier in the trial, an officer testified Jason used his cell phone from the hotel in Virginia around seven thirty that same morning.
Young's first trial ended last June with a deadlocked jury. 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.
wake county, michelle young, jason young, local/state
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