Michelle Young: Why no arrest? (continued)

Part III

This blog entry is a continuation of the one posted on November 13, titled Michelle Young: Why no arrest? If you haven’t already read parts I and II, you may want to go back and start at the beginning before continuing here. The purpose of these entries is to examine the evidence as disclosed in court documents to try to ascertain why there has yet to be an arrest for the murder of Michelle Young.

November 6, 2008 Warrant (continued)

[[Click herefor WRAL’s .pdf of the warrant]

The probable cause laid out in this warrant does one favor for those who consider it their cause to defend Jason Young on various Internet forums.  No longer do they have to waste energy attacking anyone who refers to Jason’s relationship with Michelle Money as an affair.

On November 16th, 2006 Mrs. Money was interviewed about her relationship with Jason Young.  She provided investigators with a detailed account of a visit she received from Mr. Young during the weekend of October 7th, 2006.  During the visit Mrs. Money stated that she and Mr. Young had sexual intercourse on two occasions.

No ambiguity there.  Additionally, a statement from a male friend of Jason’s and an e-mail exchange between Jason Young and Michelle Money characterize the relationship as going beyond a purely physical relationship. According to the friend, Jason told him that he and Mrs. Money loved each other and that Mrs. Money hoped that the child she was trying to conceive with her husband would be Jason Young’s.

I’ll include here the full text (typos intact) of the e-mail exchange, as it speaks for itself.  Note, however, that I have emboldened three segments for emphasis.

Michelle Money:

I hope your doing okay!  IMY and I am sorry that you are having a bad day.

I wish that I could make everyday a great day for you and you do the same for me.  I would change thins if we could but we can’t.  I want to enjoy what I can and make the best of it.  I love that we are open and caring and loving and sharing with each other.  It is so important.  I feel so lucky that I have all that from you and have you in my life.

ILY

Jason Young:

missing you so much…got a nice beer buzz…after hours of “counseling” with meredithand debating/arguing with michelle.  thank God for meredithis all I can say…that girl is so level headed and cool…once again, a “bigger” girl with a cool personality

i feel lucky just to know you, much less love you, but i do.

i don’t know how all this happened, but i know how it will end up…two broken hearts…but, i don’t care.  i know there is pain in my future, but you are so worth it, even if it’s only for a “blink” in time.

Michelle Money:

Missing you so much!!!  I won’t even get in to my husbands lack of rama, affecton, attention, etc…

I am glad Meredith was there to support you and I am sad for you and Michelle that it is not a good mix.  I wish things were different for all of us.

Miss you tons!

There are several things within this e-mail exchange that could be analyzed, but I’m going to limit my commentary to the few that I’ve emphasized.

Commentary:

Two broken hearts?  Only two?  There are at least four people involved in this situation — actually seven including the children of both couples.  Why only two broken hearts?  Because their respective spouses and children will never find out, and only Jason and Mrs. Money’s hearts will be broken because they cannot be together?  Because only their spouse’s hearts will be broken, while Jason and Mrs. Money will be blissfully happy together and the children’s feelings are not being taken into consideration?  Why two broken hearts? 

Whose pain does Jason see in his future?

The woman Jason Young professes to love writes:  “I would change [things] if we could but we can’t” and “I wish things were different for all of us.”  Less than a week before Michelle Young is brutally murdered and Jason is made a widower, Michelle Money writes those words.  How did that affect Jason Young.  Will the jury be able to see it as anything other than motive? 

One more question:  What did Jason say or write that preceded Michelle Money’s first e-mail to him?

To further illustrate the depth and intensity of the pair’s involvement, Investigator Spivey enumerates the telephone contact between them. 

  • October 4, 2006 – November 3, 2006:  approximately 980 phone calls and text messages
  • November 2, 2006:  approximately 50 phone calls and text messages on this day alone, the day preceding the murder
  • December 18, 2007 – January 25, 2008:  approximately 207 phone calls and text messages

Note that the last time period listed above is more than a year after the murder.  The relationship apparently continued and, according to the warrant, included at least one face-to-face visit in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Jason’s unhappiness in his marriage is further addressed in statements from former co-workers, a friend, and a former acquaintance.  Two female co-workers described Jason’s flirtations with women and his complaints about his sex life with his wife.  According to the warrant, Jason told a friend “that he was unhappy in his marriage and never would have married Michelle Young if she had not gotten pregnant.”  In an e-mail sent to a woman who once attended Camp Illahee in Brevard where Jason had worked as an instructor, Jason pretended to be unmarried.  The e-mail was dated May 18, 2006. 

Commentary: 

It should be noted that the co-workers Jason complained to were both women, at least one of which Jason found attractive.  It may be that Jason hoped to elicit sympathy from these women that he could exploit for extramarital sexual relationships.  Was this a modus operandi for him?  It’s a habit that has the potential to produce charges of sexual harassment. 

At the time Jason e-mailed the woman he had met at Camp Illahee some ten years earlier, Jason and Michelle were indeed married and parents to a two year old daughter and another child on the way.  Less than two weeks later, Jason and Michelle were involved in a single-car accident just outside Brevard with Jason behind the wheel after which Michelle lost the baby she was carrying.  There has been much speculation about this accident as having been an orchestrated attempt by Jason on Michelle’s life.  The fact that it is addressed in the warrant negates any claim that the accident is of no cause for suspicion to investigators.

The warrant reveals the content of an e-mail exchange between Jason Young and his sister, Kim Young, that obviously postdates the murder.  I’ll include the excerpts in their entirety as cited in the warrant:

JY:  Recall what we were discussing, it was YOUR statement that Roger was somehow benefiting financially by this being drawn out.  That is simply WRONG and is an assumption on your part that is based on nothing.  The FACT is, there is a set amount for this investigation process.  PERIOD.  If this investigation lasts 3 months or 2 years, he doesn’t “benefit” from the longevity.  His ONLY concern is for me and that hopefully there will NEVER be an arrest.

JY:  The only thing that matters is the investigation itself and you can see that is has led to nothing.

JY:  I hired a good attorney (which I didn’t even know at the time, they were just recommended) and I haven’t been arrested even though it’s been obvious that the focus has been on me.  I am going to continue to follow what they say.

KY:  If you think public opinion doesn’t matter then you are living in a very naive isolated world.  You are very insulated in Brevard and have no clue out of that protected little world about what is and isn’t being said, including by your own close friends, some of whom who do have doubts about you this has gone on for so long with so many thing being said by the media and police that neither you nor Roger ever address.  As time goes on that only progresses.

JY:  There are glory “lawyers” out there that will do anything and everything to get n the news.  Thank God, I do not have one.  Thank God, I live in my “insulated” world, but I don’t CARE anymore about what is being said about me.  It as very clear to me from the start that there will be a PUBLIC trial and what REALLY happens.  A public trial does nothing, zero, zilch.  If it filters out “true” friends then great.  I can’t imagine you being privy to conversations with my “close friends”, but maybe you’ve changed and hangout in Raleigh with them on a regular basis…???

KY:  What happens when her little friends aren’t allowed to come play with her or spend the night because rumor is her daddy killed her mommy?

JY:  I don’t think that would ever happen, I think you are being extremely dramatic and very unrealistic.  Your whole world is based on the people yu know and who know about this situation.  You spend your days on the internet going into chatrooms where you’re not going to find anything good written about the situation, but in time, things will die down.  Most people out there don’t know one thing about any of this.  Your are right, I am here in Brevard, but in little old there was a big article written about this and you know how a small town talks.  Still though, the majority of folks have no idea and that amount will continue to decrease with time.  Think for a moment, how many crimes and murders do you recall?  What details do you know about that situation?  Did you even hear about the murder in Durham about a year ago under similar before you started your internet chat room time?  I doubt it…I bet you can’t even name the husband who moved out West to be with family after the murder.  Was he a suspect?  Is he still?  I don’t know but I do know that I wouldn’t recognize his name or his face if he or his kid walked up to me tomorrow.

KY:  Have you thought about the day when she asks you why you were having a relationship with someone else?  How is that going to make her feel?

JY:  Yes I have, and it is not going to be an easy time for me, but it will have to happen.  I dont’ know how it’s going to make her “feel”.

KY:  When you called me when Michelle was pregnant and said you were getting married, I asked you if you were ready for that responsibility or if you would resent it?  You said you were ready.

JY:  ok, and your point is????

KY:  Your actions here affect everything about the rest of Cassie’s life and you need to think about that.

Commentary:

The date of this e-mail exchange is not disclosed in the warrant.  Kim’s comments and questions to her brother are couched in her concern about the way Jason and his attorney are handling the situation, but it becomes evident by the end, when she remarks on the circumstances of Jason and Michelle’s marriage that she has real suspicion about Jason’s involvement in the murder.  It would be interesting to know at what point Kim’s suspicions began to arise.  I wonder if Jason’s remark — “3 months or two years” — is a clue as to when this conversation took place.

Jason’s own comments belie his innocence.  Rather than outrage over the fact that Michelle’s murderer has not been caught, Jason expresses a desire for the case to remain unsolved and an expectation that media attention will die down and public awareness of the murder will fade away.  It’s clear that Jason is pleased with his attorney’s advice to remain silent and has no intention of ever cooperating with investigators.  His remarks about the other unsolved murder — namely the Janet Abaroa murder of which her husband, Raven, is the unofficial suspect — cause one to question why he has an awareness of it that allows him to challenge his sister on her lack of cognizance.  Was he inspired by Raven’s apparent success?  His denial of an ability to recognize Raven or his child if he ran into them comes across as disingenuous.

Jason’s response to Kim’s expression of concern as to how Cassidy will be affected when she learns of his infidelity — “it is not going to be an easy time for me, but it will have to happen.  I don’t know how it’s going to make her “feel”’  — displays a narcissistic self-absorption and an inability to empathize with others.

A examination of one of Jason Young’s computers producing some interesting search topics that pre-dated Michelle’s murder:

  • Real-estate searches and owner list information for Jason Young and the 5108 Birchleaf Drive address
  • Searches for Michelle Money and Michelle Money Florida
  • Eric Rudolph
  • Free porn movies
  • Ischemia
  • Prudential Properties Sowerby
  • Gay bars and gay bars New York City
  • Opportunity
  • Anatomy of a knockout
  • Head trauma knockout
  • Divorce
  • Right posterior parietal occipital region

Commentary:

I expect that by the time the jury hears about these Internet searches, they will already have been told by the North Carolina State Medical Examiner that Michelle Young died from blunt force trauma to the head, that many of the blows to her head were in all likelihood inflicted after she was already unconscious, and that her killer attempted to manually strangle her.  In most successful strangulations, death is the result of an obstruction of oxygen-rich bloodflow to the brain, resulting in “cerebral hypoxia and ischemic neuronal death.”  It’s my belief that the above searches delineate a plan to induce unconsciousness with a blow to the head, after which Michelle could be strangled to death without being able to fight off her attacker.  Considering the end results, things did not go according to plan.

The Valentine’s Day warrants introduced the public to two sets of shoeprints found at the crime scene — a Hushpuppiesprint and a Franklin athletic shoe print with the number 10 on the bottom.  We learn more about the investigation regarding the two prints from the Novo Nordisk warrant.

  • A Hushpuppies representative provided to investigators “copies of DSW purchase orders and shipping records of shoes purchased from Hushpuppies.” 
  • A board certified podiatrist stated that blister like irritations on Jason Young’s feet, photographed approximately five days after the murder, could have been caused by wearing shoes too small for his feet.

Commentary:

It would come as no surprise if Jason’s defense attorney were able to get the podiatrist to concede that there could have been other causes of the blisters on Jason’s feet — basketball, flag football, or other athletic activities Jason is known to have participated in.  A picture is worth a thousan words, and the jurors will be able to decide for themselves which explanation they find more credible.

Conclusion

In order to understand what might be preventing the pursuit of an indictment at this time, it is necessary to ascertain the charge (or charges) being considered as well as the district attorney’s burden in proving the charge. In reviewing the evidence laid out in the warrants, it is apparent that Michelle Young’s killer will be tried for First Degree Murder. Even if Jason Young is not the killer, the murder in conjunction with the burglary (or robbery) of valuables from the home satisfies the requirements for a felony murder charge, punishable by death or by imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole.  It’s clear, however, that Jason Young is the focus of the investigation and the person who will eventually be indicted and tried for the crime. The circumstances surrounding the murder paint a picture of a premeditated murder planned in advance and carried out by stealth and subterfuge. What must the prosecutor prove?

  • Corpus delicti — “body of the crime”. There is no ambiguity as to the fact that Michelle Young’s death was a homicide. The medical examiner’s report establishes that her death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head. The blood spatter at the crime scene is proof that someone beat her to death.
  • Actus reus — “wrongful act”. The prosecution must prove that the defendant’s actions caused the death of the victim. While it’s obvious that someone beat Michelle Young to death, the difficulty arises in proving that Jason Young is that someone. In this case, there is no eyewitness who can testify to seeing Jason beat Michelle to death. There is no proverbial “smoking gun”, such as a blunt object with Michelle’s blood and Jason’s fingerprints on it or Jason’s fingerprints in Michelle’s blood at the crime scene. The case is being pieced together from an assortment of incriminating factors and peculiar incidents, the sum total of which it is hoped will convince twelve jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that Jason Young is the killer or participated in the murder.
  • Mens rea — “criminal intent”. First Degree Murder is a specific intent crime. The prosecutor must prove not only that the defendant intended to beat Michelle Young but that he intended her death to be the end result of the beating. If the jury believes that the circumstantial evidence put forth by the prosecution proves that Jason killed Michelle Young or participated in her murder, because of the very nature of the evidence, they will also conclude that the murder was deliberate and planned in advance, satisfying the mens rea element of the crime.

There can be no doubt that the evidence set forth in the February ’08 and November ’08 warrants implicates Jason Young in Michelle Young’s murder.  However, that should come as no surprise; the very purpose of the probable cause statement is to persuade a judge or magistrate to grant permission to investigators to pursue an investigation of Jason Young by a sanctioned invasion of his privacy.  As I stated at the end of Part I of this analysis, the case against Jason Young is built entirely on circumstantial evidence.  That’s not to say that the evidence is by any means weak.  Circumstantial evidence is often more reliable and compelling to a jury than direct evidence such as eyewitness statements.  The fact is, just as Sheriff Donnie Harrison has repeatedly stated, this is a complex case.  The more pieces of the puzzle investigators are able to locate and provide to prosecutors, the easier it will be for the prosecutors to put the whole picture together for the jury.  Defense counsel will have their work cut out for them, but make no mistake, they will pick apart and attempt to explain every piece of evidence presented by the prosecution.  How successful they will be remains to be seen, but it is a factor that the prosecution must consider and prepare for before going forward with an indictment and trial.  In Part I, I expressed doubt that there may still exist credible evidence that has yet to be found.  Clearly, that is not the case.  New leads continue to arise:

  • Jason Young has talked to family members about the murder investigation.
  • Jason Young has continued his relationship with Michelle Money
  • Investigators have obtained Cassidy’s medical records, excluding the possibility that she was prescribed the drugs found in her room.
  • An expert has been recently consulted regarding irritations on Jason’s feet.

 
The latest warrant authorized investigators to search for additional evidence against Jason Young on the computer issued him by his employer, Novo Nordisk.  What else might they find?  Linda Fisher has filed a civil suit against Jason Young for the wrongful death of her daughter.  Jason must respond within thirty days of her filing, and at some point, Linda’s attorneys hope to depose Jason Young.  These things alone provide the potential for uncovering new and conclusive evidence and are thus reason to wait a bit longer.  An indictment will start the clock ticking on Jason’s constitutional right to a speedy trial — a distinct disadvantage to a prosecution team not thoroughly prepared.  The recent release of warrants has brought new attention to the case and could bring forward other people who might have valuable information relating to Michelle’s murder.  Time will tell.

Return to Part I
Return to Part II

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4 comments so far

  1. jezme on

    Thank You Scout!

    This synopsis is the best of the best.
    As RPD sya f… JLY os gpomg dpwn.

    Jason Lynn Young IS a cold-blooded wife murderer. He can sue me if he wants … he won’t win a penny. I’m not a gambler – but I am staking my life on this piece of crap going down. Michelle will never experience what I have in my life. He was selfish and thought he could ROB her of what she deserved.

    JASON … ROT IN HELL … YOU ARE THE DEVIL.

  2. Thanks 4 the summary on

    Thanks for the summary. I look forward to any updates and hopefully a conviction so that the family may have closure & Michelle & unborn baby boy can rest in peace.

  3. stephanie on

    Do you think the civil judgement of $15 million will actually ever get paid? I am very disappointed to find out he is still seeing Michelle Money. Does anyone have info on when and if her husband found out about all of this and if they got divorced? I hope both Michelle Money and Jason Young go to jail for pre-meditated murder. So sad for the child he left walking around in her mothers blood.

  4. Average Jane on

    Hi, Stephanie. Jason has no money, so the civil judgment will probably never be paid. Most of the discussion is taking place at the forum if you want to join in there.

    http://frictionpowered.hqforums.com


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