Jason Young Trial: Back to Square One

Jury selection begins today in a Wake County courtroom for the second trial of Jason Young in the murder of his pregnant wife, Michelle Marie Fisher Young.  Jason Young’s first trial ended in a mistrial when twelve juror were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. As such, the prosecution begins anew; jury selection is expected to take several weeks with opening statements due to follow on February 6.  

With the prosecution back at square one, I think it’s an appropriate time to revisit the way in which Michelle Young’s murder was discovered and the investigation began.

Michelle was bludgeoned to death in the bedroom of her Raleigh, North Carolina, home on November 3, 2006. Her body was discovered by her sister, Meredith Fisher, who was sent to the house by Jason Young to retrieve a printout of Coach purses for sale on eBay which he claimed to have forgotten on the printer when leaving for a business trip the prior evening.

Meredith arrived to find things in an unusual state to say the least.  The pillar lights at the end of the driveway were on; the backyard gate was standing open; a water hose was trickling in the backyard; the Youngs’ dog, Mr. Garrison was whining plaintively from within the house, Michelle’s car was in the garage; tiny bloody footprints dappled the floor of an upstairs bathroom.  In the master bedroom,  Michelle’s battered body lay on the floor next to the bed in a pool of blood; the walls and furniture were spattered with blood; and Cassidy, Jason and Michelle’s 2 1/2 year old daughter, was hiding beneath the covers of the bed.  Meredith promptly called 911 to try to get help for her sister, though she feared that Michelle was already dead. 

I have previously posted on this blog a transcript of the 911 call which I typed while listening to the recording on WRAL.com’s website.  However, during the trial last summer, a more complete version of the 911 call was played.  What follows is a transcript of the call as played during Meredith’s testimony.  Please note:  This is not an official transcript.

DISPATCHER: 911 State your emergency

MEREDITH: I need an ambulance. It’s an emergency.

DISPATCHER: What address are you at Ma’am?

MEREDITH: Um Birchleaf…5108 Birchleaf Road

DISPATCHER: Okay and your phone number?

MEREDITH: Oh my God

DISPATCHER: Ma’am, what’s your phone number in case I lose you

MEREDITH: Um…832-…um, hang on. Let me look at the phone. 832-8939. 8939.

DISPATCHER: Alright, what’s the problem. Tell me exactly what happened.

MEREDITH: Um…I…I…I think my sister’s dead.

DISPATCHER: Okay, tell me what happened, ma’am.

MEREDITH: I have no idea. Oh my God.

DISPATCHER: Alright stay on the phone with me please.

MEREDITH: Um.

DISPATCHER: What’s your name?

MEREDITH: Meredith Fisher

DISPATCHER: Alright, Meredith.

MEREDITH: And this is the Young address. Oh my God.

DISPATCHER: Meredith, listen to me please.

MEREDITH: Yeah.

DISPATCHER: Are you with the patient now?

MEREDITH: Yes and her daughter. And…she’s…

DISPATCHER: Okay, how old is the patient?

MEREDITH: …and there’s blood everywhere. She’s 28…29

DISPATCHER: 28?

MEREDITH: Should I try to move her?

DISPATCHER: Listen to me, ma’am.

MEREDITH: Yes sir.

DISPATCHER: I’m gonna tell you what to do…

MEREDITH: Okay.

DISPATCHER: …but you need to calm down so we can help her. You said there’s blood everywhere?

MEREDITH: Yes.

DISPATCHER: Alright. Is she conscious?

MEREDITH: N…, I don’t think so. Should I try to help her?

DISPATCHER: Listen to me, ma’am.

MEREDITH: I’m listening.

DISPATCHER: Is she breathing?

MEREDITH: I don’t think so.

DISPATCHER: Have you checked?

MEREDITH: Michelle? [pause] She’s cold.

DISPATCHER: Okay. Listen to me. Did you see what happened?

MEREDITH: I don’t know. Cassidy, come here, sweetie. I’m here with her daughter.

DISPATCHER: Okay.

MEREDITH: There’s…there’s like blood footprints all over the house from her daughter…like her daughter’s little footprints.

DISPATCHER: Okay, listen to me. What’s your first name?

MEREDITH: Meredith

DISPATCHER: Alright, Meredith…

MEREDITH: Yes sir.

DISPATCHER: Did you see what happened?

MEREDITH: I..I..I just came here on a fluke. I usually, you know, don’t come here during the day.

DISPATCHER: Okay.

MEREDITH: She shouldn’t be home. She should be at work. Like…

DISPATCHER: Okay, listen to me.

MEREDITH: Yes sir.

MEREDITH: I…I…[inaudible] right now.

DISPATCHER: Did you say…Can you tell me why she looks dead…looks like she’s dead?

MEREDITH: I don’t know. I have no idea. There’s blood all over the place.

DISPATCHER: Okay, did you say she’s cold?

MEREDITH: Sh..uh yes.

DISPATCHER: Okay.

MEREDITH: Yes.

DISPATCHER: Alright, stay on the phone.

MEREDITH: Okay

CASSIDY: [inaudible] there’s blood. Can you see my…[inaudible]…get a washcloth into my…[inaudible]…?

MEREDITH: Yes, sweetie.

CASSIDY: [inaudible]

MEREDITH: Sweetie, do you know what happened to Mommy?

CASSIDY: [inaudible]

MEREDITH: Did she fall?

CASSIDY: Um…um…she gotta boo…She got boo-boos everywhere and…and…she got…

DISPATCHER: Alright, do you think she’s beyond any help?

MEREDITH: I don’t know. Honestly, um…

DISPATCHER: You don’t know? Alright

MEREDITH: I’m normally very good under pressure.

DISPATCHER: Okay, we’re gonna tell you what to do then. Okay?

MEREDITH: Yes, sir.

DISPATCHER: Are you right by her now?

MEREDITH: I…I’m keeping her daughter out of there.

DISPATCHER: Okay. Alright, so you’re not with her?

MEREDITH: I’m right outside the bedroom.

DISPATCHER: Can you get her daughter secured s…Can you carry the phone to where she’s at?

MEREDITH: Yes.

DISPATCHER: Alright. Can you secure her daughter?

MEREDITH: Cassidy, sweetie, can you stay in your room for two seconds, okay?

CASSIDY: Okay.

MEREDITH: Okay, can you close the door for two seconds and I’ll be right back in here, okay, sweetie?

CASSIDY: [inaudible]

MEREDITH: Okay.

DISPATCHER: Meredith.

MEREDITH: Okay, yes sir.

DISPATCHER: Okay. You got a cordless phone?

MEREDITH: Yes.

DISPATCHER: Alright.

MEREDITH: Stay right there, sweetie. Okay.

DISPATCHER: Alright, is…I want you to…is she laying on her back?

MEREDITH: No, she’s laying on her stomach.

DISPATCHER: She’s on her stomach? She’s face down?

MEREDITH: Yes.

DISPATCHER: Alright, can you…can you get her on her back?

MEREDITH: [deep breath] okay…oh my God. Michelle? I don’t think so. She’s so heavy.

DISPATCHER: Alright, see if you can get her on her back.

MEREDITH: I just really think she’s dead.

DISPATCHER: Pardon?

MEREDITH: I really think she’s dead.

DISPATCHER: Okay. Are you certain?

MEREDITH: Hang on. Cassidy, sweetie, please go in your room. Okay, honey?

MEREDITH: I um…I um…I’m pretty sure.

DISPATCHER: You are?

MEREDITH: I…I don’t know…I don’t know. I’m…

DISPATCHER: Okay, we need to make sure.

MEREDITH: Okay.

DISPATCHER: Can you get her on her back for me?

MEREDITH: She’s kind of…twisted in a way that I can’t do that.

DISPATCHER: You can’t roll her over.

MEREDITH: Not…not easily.

DISPATCHER: You’re gonna have to try.

MEREDITH: Hang on…let me…I’m trying to see if I can get her pulse.

DISPATCHER: We gotta try to do CPR if we can get her on her back, Meredith.

MEREDITH: No, she’s ice cold.

DISPATCHER: She’s cold?

MEREDITH: Yeah.

DISPATCHER: Okay, alright.

MEREDITH: And her body is stiff.

DISPATCHER: Okay, then don’t try. If she’s cold then just…

MEREDITH: Oh my God, I (inaudible)…

DISPATCHER: …there’s probably nothing much you can do.

MEREDITH: Should I not touch anything?

DISPATCHER: Alright, try not to touch anything more than you did. Was anything out of place or unusual when you came in?

MEREDITH: This place does not look like what it normally looks like.

DISPATCHER: Okay, what’d it…

MEREDITH: There’s blood in the bed.

DISPATCHER: Okay, alright. Try not to touch anything else, okay?

MEREDITH: Okay, I just moved a pillow.

DISPATCHER: Alright. Just leave everything exactly where it is then.

MEREDITH: Okay…okay.

DISPATCHER: Do you see anything else?

MEREDITH: Um…

DISPATCHER: Do you see anything else that looks unusual?

MEREDITH: No. Cassidy, was anybody here? The dog was freaking out when I got here. Was anybody here, sweetie?

CASSIDY: [inaudible]

DISPATCHER: Alright, Meredith…

MEREDITH: Yes, sir.

DISPATCHER: Alright, I’m gonna…I’m gonna get the sheriff’s department to pick up on the line with us.

MEREDITH: Okay.

DISPATCHER: ‘Cause they’re gonna need to talk to you about what you’re seeing. Okay?

MEREDITH: Okay.

DISPATCHER: Now, I’m gonna brief them on what’s happened, and you just stay on the line.

MEREDITH: Okay.

DISPATCHER: What’s your last name, Meredith?

MEREDITH: Fisher.

DISPATCHER: Fisher?

MEREDITH: Her last name is Young.

DISPATCHER: Are you her relative?

MEREDITH: I’m her only sister.

DISPATCHER: Okay. Alright, Meredith. Stay with me just a minute, okay?

MEREDITH: Okay.

CASSIDY: [inaudible]

[series of clicks and tones]

CASSIDY: [inaudible]

MEREDITH: Okay.

[ring-tone]

CASSIDY: [inaudible] { some people believe they hear the words, “Daddy did it.”}

MEREDITH: Okay.

CASSIDY: [inaudible]

[ring-tone]

[ring-tone]

DEPUTY: Sheriff’s office. What is your emergency?

DISPATCHER: Hey, this is uh Brent.

DEPUTY: Uh-huh?

DISPATCHER: Look, I’ve got a lady named Meredith Fisher on the line from this address.

DEPUTY: Okay.

DISPATCHER: We’ve got EMS en route to Birchleaf.

DEPUTY: Okay.

DISPATCHER: And she…she’s in there with her sister. Um, she’s gonna tell you about what she’s seen, and it’s apparent it might be a Code 7 and there may be…there is evidence of trauma.

DEPUTY: We got deputies already en route.

DISPATCHER: Okay, but you need to talk to her. I’m gonna let her talk to you.

DEPUTY: I will. Thanks.

DISPATCHER: She’s on the line with you.

DEPUTY: Okay.

DISPATCHER: Meredith, go ahead.

DEPUTY: Meredith?

MEREDITH: I’m also here with her two-and-a-half-year-old, so it’s kind of difficult for me to pay attention.

DEPUTY: Okay.

MEREDITH: Okay?

DEPUTY: Where are you at now though Meredith? Are you on Birchleaf?

MEREDITH: [inaudible] downstairs. I’m at Birch, um, 5108 Birchleaf.

DEPUTY: Okay.

MEREDITH: Um, I…I typically handle myself very well under pressure, but I…I…I don’t know what to do.

DEPUTY: Okay. Now, tell…uh, is Rescue there yet?

MEREDITH: No.

DEPUTY: Okay.

MEREDITH: Should I go outside to wait for them…[inaudible]?

DEPUTY: Now, what have you found when you walked in the house?

MEREDITH: I don’t kn… I almost thought it was a practical joke. There’s just blood everywhere.

DEPUTY: Okay. And who lives there, and are they there?

MEREDITH: Okay. It’s my sister’s house.

DEPUTY: Uh-huh.

MEREDITH: Um, and she has a husband that travels quite a bit.

DEPUTY: Uh-huh.

MEREDITH: And I spoke with him last night. He’s out of town; he’s on his way to his parents’ house. And her daughter [inaudible] still in pajamas. [inaudible] Like normally, my sister goes to work early and takes her to daycare, you know, like…something’s not right. And I…when I first came to the house…[exhaling sound]

DEPUTY: Could you hold on one second for me, Miss?

MEREDITH: Yes, sir.

DEPUTY: Mm-hmm.

**Transition—Call transferred**

MEREDITH: Yes, sir.

DEPUTY 2: Okay. Are you…are you out at the…the deceased person’s…Birchleaf?

MEREDITH: I’m sorry.

DEPUTY 2: Are you out on Birchleaf?

MEREDITH: Birchleaf. Yes, sir.

DEPUTY 2: Okay. Okay. What I need you to do if possible… Who…who all’s there with you? I can hear a child.

MEREDITH: Yes.

DEPUTY 2: Okay. EMS and I got some deputies en route. What I need you to go ahead and do is just…is walk outside.

MEREDITH: Okay.

DEPUTY 2: ‘Cause I don’t know what’s going on yet. Just have everybody walk outside. Stand…[inaudible]

MEREDITH: Come on, sweetie. Let’s take a ride. Okay? Come on, Garrison. Let’s go, buddy.

CASSIDY: Where we going?

MEREDITH: We’re going to go outside and wait for the nice people to [inaudible]

DEPUTY 2: And if you want…if you want to, yeah, if you want to, go ahead out…go out to your car and sit in your car. That way…until we figure out what’s going on, okay?

MEREDITH: Okay. I don’t know what I did with my keys. I can’t even think.

CASSIDY: Where we going?

MEREDITH: [inaudible] We’re going to wait outside for the nice people to come talk to us. Okay, sweetie?

DEPUTY 2: Who’s this…who’s this person you…

MEREDITH: Um, this is my niece that I’m holding right now.

DEPUTY 2: No, I mean…I mean the person who’s in the house? Your sister?

**Cassidy chattering in background**

MEREDITH: Oh my God.

CASSIDY: [inaudible] your car?

MEREDITH: Yes, sweetie. That’s my car.

MEREDITH: I’m trying.

DEPUTY 2: Yeah. Just do the best you can. I know…I know it’s difficult. I really do.

MEREDITH: My niece is very smart for her age. She’s two and a half. And I think she’s saying that there was somebody in the house. I don’t really understand, ‘cause I know she doesn’t understand.

DEPUTY 2: Okay. How old is…how old is, um, your sister?

MEREDITH: My sister’s twenty-nine.

DEPUTY 2: Twenty-nine? [inaudible] have any problems?

MEREDITH: What?

DEPUTY 2: …that you know of? Do you have…Does she have any personal problems that you know of?

MEREDITH: Um, not really. I try to help them fight a little bit, but nothing too ridiculous. She’s pregnant; I know that. She’s about four and a half months pregnant.

DEPUTY 2: Okay. Try to…try to keep calm.

MEREDITH: [inaudible] I’m trying. There’s a fire department truck here.

DEPUTY 2: Okay.

MEREDITH: I don’t know why, but…

DEPUTY 2: Yeah, they…they respond as well because of the nature of the call.

MEREDITH: [inaudible—crosstalk] I’m trying. Oh my God. Oh my God. I can’t even believe that this is real. Like, they sort of play jokes on each other, like, [inaudible] her husband. Like, I almost thought it was a joke; that’s how over the top it just seems in there. Something’s not right.

DEPUTY 2: The fire department’s going to talk to you now. They’ll probably go in the house to go check on her. Okay?

MEREDITH: Okay. Thank you.

DEPUTY 2: Okay. So just…they’ll let me know if there’s any problem. Okay? Just stay out of the house as best you can.

MEREDITH: Thank you. Yes. Thank you.

DEPUTY 2: Okay.

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