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Jason Young: Lying in Wait

By North Carolina statute, a charge of first degree murder requires at least one attendant circumstance. 

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-17

A murder which shall be perpetrated by means of a nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon of mass destruction as defined in G.S. 14‑288.21, poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or which shall be committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of any arson, rape or a sex offense, robbery, kidnapping, burglary, or other felony committed or attempted with the use of a deadly weapon shall be deemed to be murder in the first degree, a Class A felony, and any person who commits such murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment in the State’s prison for life without parole as the court shall determine pursuant to G.S. 15A‑2000…

The previous blog entry, Exceeding Malice Aforethought, addressed the circumstance of “willful, deliberate, and premeditated”.  A second attendant circumstance that may be considered applicable to Michelle Young’s murder is that of “lying in wait”. 

Black’s Law Dictionary defines the phrase “lying in wait” as follows: 

The series of acts involved in watching, waiting for, and hiding from someone with the intent of killing or inflicting serious bodily injury on that person.

I believe that the actions Jason Young took on the night of November 2-3, 2006, qualify as lying in wait. In order to demonstrate the aptness of the phrase, it is necessary to break down the series of acts as described above and apply them to Jason’s alleged activities.

Watching Michelle Young

As Michelle’s husband, Jason knew his wife’s routine.  He watched for an occasion when there would be no overnight guests in the home.  He knew what her plans were for that Thursday evening.  He knew that, but for Cassidy’s presence in the home, Michelle would be alone after Shelly Schaad departed.  As homeowner and resident, he was intimately familiar with the layout of the house.  He knew that getting inside, contending with the dog, and navigating his way to the master bedroom to locate his target would give him no trouble.  He knew that he far outmatched Michelle in size and strength and that he could increase his advantage with the element of surprise.

Waiting for Michelle Young

Jason left home that Thursday evening with the intention of waiting until Michelle was at her most vulnerable before returning to attack her.  He waited until he could establish an alibi at the Hampton Inn in Hillsville, Virginia.  He waited until he was sure that Shelly had left the residence.  He waited until such a time as Michelle and Cassidy could be expected to be sleeping soundly in their own beds.

Hiding from Michelle Young

Jason used darkness, dead of night, and deceit to hide from Michelle.  She believed that he was in Virginia and wouldn’t return until Friday evening at the earliest.  He led her to believe that he would be spending the night in a hotel, attending a business meeting the next morning, and swinging by his mother’s house in Brevard before returning home.  She had no reason to suspect that he would sneak back in the dead of night to kill her while she slept.  His malicious intent was hidden from her by his ruse.  His presence was hidden from her through the stealth afforded by darkness, dead of night, and her own slumber.

Jason’s alleged actions comprise the elements of lying in wait and thereby establish an attendant circumstance necessary to elevate the charge against him to first degree murder.  That being said, “lying in wait” and “willful, deliberate, and premeditated” are not mutually exclusive elements.  One compounds the other just as Jason’s status as Michelle’s husband and father to Cassidy and Rylan (still in his mother’s womb) compounds the heinousness of the crime — an unquestionably brutal and merciless murder.

Exceeding Malice Aforethought

On Monday, December 14, 2009, following more than three years of investigation by the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Jason Young was arrested for the beating death of his wife, Michelle Marie Fisher Young.  The Wake County District Attorney’s office presented the case to a grand jury on Monday morning.  By 1:30 pm, a true bill of indictment had been returned charging Jason Young with one count of first degree murder.  Michelle was 20 weeks pregnant with a son to be named Rylan at the time of her death, but North Carolina law does not provide for a second murder charge for the death of the unborn child. 

The Law

At common law, for a person to be convicted of murder it had to be proven not only that the defendant committed the act of taking another person’s life, but also that the defendant did so with malice aforethought.  In other words, the defendant committed the act that resulted in the death of the victim and did so with the intent of killing the victim.  These are known as the actus reus and mens rea elements of the crime.  North Carolina statute requires these same elements to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a murder conviction.  In addition, a first degree murder charge has special requirements beyond act and intent.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-17

A murder which shall be perpetrated by means of a nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon of mass destruction as defined in G.S. 14‑288.21, poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or which shall be committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of any arson, rape or a sex offense, robbery, kidnapping, burglary, or other felony committed or attempted with the use of a deadly weapon shall be deemed to be murder in the first degree, a Class A felony, and any person who commits such murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment in the State’s prison for life without parole as the court shall determine pursuant to G.S. 15A‑2000…

I’m not a lawyer, but I believe the phrase “willful, deliberate, and premeditated” is the key phrase in this statute as applied to Michelle Young’s murder.*  People often confuse the term premeditation with planning.  However, premeditation is simply intent that is formulated prior to the act being committed.  There is no time constraint which dictates or limits how much time must elapse between the formulation of intent and the act itself.  Nevertheless, I believe that the facts of this case will show that Jason Young planned with cool deliberation — for days, weeks, possibly even months — to murder Michelle.  You may wonder why I say that.  If so, keep reading, and I will try to explain.

Basic Facts of the Case

  1. Jason departed 5108 Birchleaf Drive in the Enchanted Oaks subdivision of Raleigh, North Carolina, between 7:00 pm and 7:30 pm on November 2, 2006 for a business trip in Clintwood, Virginia.
  2. At 7:32 pm, Jason purchased gas at the Handee Hugo #89 before leaving Raleigh.
  3. At 10:49 pm, Jason checked in at the Hampton Inn in Hillsville, Virginia, taking a room on the 4th floor.
  4. Between the hours of midnight and 6:00 am on November 3, Michelle Young was brutally murdered in the master bedroom of the couple’s home.
  5. Between the hours of midnight and 7:40 am, Jason’s whereabouts are unaccounted for.

Theories and Opinions

If you read the Internet forums that are dedicated to the discussion of this case, you will probably see that opinions as to how this crime went down run the full range.  There are those who believe that Jason Young is innocent.  I won’t use this opportunity to debate that point.  The reader will have to assume for the sake of argument that Jason returned home during the night and killed Michelle.  Others believe the murder to have been a crime of passion.  Then there are those who believe that the murder was planned, but opinions vary as to how far in advance the planning began.  I’ll address each of these in turn.

Theory #1:  A Crime of Passion

The rationale behind the “crime of passion” theory is that Jason returned to Raleigh that night only with the intent of settling an argument or talking Michelle out of divorcing him.  Unfortunately, the situation escalated and Jason became enraged, reacting with the lethal force that left Michelle bludgeoned to death on the bedroom floor.  The problem with this theory is that the evidence from the Hampton Inn contradicts it.

A still from security video taken at the front desk of the Hampton Inn shows Jason checking in at 10:49-10:51 pm.  It can be seen that he is wearing a long-sleeved, light-colored, pullover type shirt with a button placket.  At 10:55 pm, Jason’s cardkey is used to open the door to his room on the fourth floor.  The next time Jason is seen on the hotel’s security camera system is approximately 1 hour later when he approaches the front desk at 11:59 pm.  At this time, it can be seen that he is wearing a shirt different from the one he was wearing on arrival at the hotel.  The second shirt is described as a dark-colored pullover with a lighter colored horizontal stripe bisecting the chest and a zipper at the neck.  A few seconds after his appearance at the front desk, Jason is seen walking down the corridor toward a side exit located at the west end of the building.  A member of the hotel staff found a rock in the door jamb of this exit that prevented the latch from engaging; the effect of this would be to allow reentry through the door without using a hotel cardkey.  Also of interest is the fact that the security camera located in the stairwell adjacent to this exit was unplugged at 11:20 pm.  Other guests of the hotel were interviewed by investigators and stated that they had no knowledge of or involvement in the camera being disconnected. 

If you assume that Jason was responsible for unplugging the stairwell camera and propping the side-exit door, it is only logical to  conclude that his reason for doing so was to prevent his movements and activities from being electronically tracked and preserved by the hotel’s security system.  There would be no reason to worry about such things if he was going home only to talk to Michelle.  Jason’s hotel receipt was found in his Ford Explorer when he returned to the Raleigh area the next evening. Hotel staff would have slid it under the door in the middle of the night while he was far away from the hotel.  The only way for him to have retrieved that receipt would be to return to the hotel the following morning and enter his room.  The fact that his cardkey was not used the next morning (or anytime after he was seen in the lobby and corridor at midnight) indicates that he also tampered with the door to his room to prevent it from latching.  All of these things, coupled with the change of clothes, indicate that Jason’s intentions were nefarious prior to his leaving the Hampton Inn at midnight. 

Malice was formed prior to 11:20 pm on November 2, 2006.

Theory #2:  Planned After Arriving at the Hotel

This theory suggests that although things were very bad within the marriage, the intent to kill was not formed until Jason spoke to Michelle from the Hampton Inn at 11:04 pm.  Perhaps whatever occurred during the seventeen calls to Michelle between 9:56 and 11:04 pm built up a rage or a cold desire in Jason to rid himself of Michelle once and for all.  In my opinion, the seventeen phone calls are the only evidence to support this theory.  And really, it’s nothing more than speculation that can be refuted by other evidence. 

Jason chose to stop at the Hillsville Hampton Inn because it suited his purpose.  Located halfway between home and his destination, it was just far enough from home to give him a reasonable alibi but also close enough to allow him to return home in the middle of the night to commit the murder and return to the hotel before daybreak.  Testimony from the hearing for the wrongful death judgment revealed that Jason called a couple of his friends during his drive and gave each of them different stories as to why he was stopping  at Hillsville.  He told one friend that he was tired from driving the curvy roads; the other he told that he was stopping so he could watch a big football game on television.  Why lie about his reasons for stopping in Hillsville except to cover up the true reason behind his choice of lodging? 

Coincidences happen, but I don’t believe that it was any coincidence that the hotel he chose just happened to have security cameras in the stairwells that could be so easily disconnected.  Even if you tried to make an argument that it was a coincidence, you would also have to assume that Jason decided to return home to murder Michelle, after which he just happened look at the stairwell camera, noticed that it was possible to unplug it, and decided it was necessary to do so — all of this occurring within half an hour of check-in.  The odds are most definitely against it.

The side trip to Brevard was arranged while en route to Hillsville.  No matter how many times I hear the excuse that he was swinging by to pick up furniture for Cassidy’s new bedroom, it makes no sense.  It was Homecoming weekend at NCSU.  Jason and Michelle were expecting houseguests (more his friends than hers) who were to arrive that Friday afternoon.  Even if you accept that the business meeting in Clintwood, Virginia, was legitimate, the side trip to Brevard doesn’t fit.  Traveling straight home from his meeting would have allowed him to get home well before his friends arrived.  Swinging through Brevard delayed his return at least until late evening, and into midday on Saturday if he planned to spend the night at his mom’s. 

Malice was formed prior to 10:49 pm on November 2, 2006.

Theory #3:  Planned During the Drive from Raleigh to Hillsville

There’s little difference between theory #2 and theory #3.  The reasoning behind this theory is based upon the unbearable state of the marriage and Michelle’s counseling sessions with Kimball Jane Sargent.  It holds that Michelle had informed Jason prior to his departure that she wanted a divorce and he shouldn’t come back home after his business trip.  The thought of losing Cassidy and being saddled with child support was more than Jason could bear so he formulated the plan to kill Michelle as he drove and brooded.

The problem with this theory is that it ignores the Coach purse printout and Jason’s odd behavior toward Shelly Schaad.  Jason hung around until after 7:00, purposely delaying his departure until Shelly arrived so that he could tell her about his trip in great detail and show her the Coach purse eBay printout.  If he had taken off earlier in the day, he could have driven all the way to Clintwood rather than spending the night in a hotel just across the state line.  Instead, he hung around to sow the seeds of his alibi before he ever left home.

Malice was formed prior to 7:32 pm on November 2, 2006.

Theory #4:  Planned Before Leaving Home

This is the theory that the evidence supports.  The only question that remains is how long before leaving home did the planning begin?  Hours, days, weeks, months?  It would help to know when Jason scheduled the November 3 meeting with the Dickenson Communtiy Hospital representative.  Perhaps more enlightening would be to discover how and when he came to pick that particular hospital when it wasn’t even in his territory.  Did he do some Googling for hospitals in western Virginia for the specific purpose of enabling him to “swing through Brevard since he would be in the area”?

 Theory #5:  The Weekend Before

This may seem a new theory, but it’s something I’ve been mulling over for a while.  It’s necessary first that I provide a few pieces of information that you may not have heard before now.  The following items come from confidential sources, and I believe them to be true.

  1. Michelle’s dad, Alan Fisher, was supposed to come for a visit the week that Michelle was murdered.  His travel plans were cancelled rather suddenly because of an appointment that was made with an oncologist on short notice.
  2. As has been deduced from the eBay auction expiration date, the Coach purse auction, assuming that it was a standard 7-day auction, would have begun on October 26.  I’m told that Jason consulted at least one friend about the Coach purse at some point during the week of October 22-28.
  3. Jason had planned to travel to Brevard the weekend of October 27-29.  His plans changed abruptly.  It appears that he did leave home that weekend and returned on the evening of October 31, but he didn’t travel to Brevard.  I’m told he traveled to a state that begins with a “T”.  As you know, there are only two — Texas and Tennessee.  I vote for the latter being his destination.

On October 28, 2006, Jason and Michelle Money had the following email conversation:

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 hour hours of “counseling” with meredith and debating/arguing with michelle.  thank God for meredith is 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, affection, 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!”

 It’s apparent from the exchange that Jason and Michelle were fighting.  A log of calls that Jason made to his home during the same period of time indicates that Jason was away on a trip:

  • Saturday, 10/28/06:  5 calls
  • Sunday, 10/29/06:  2 calls
  • Monday, 10/30/06:  1 call

There were no calls between the Youngs for more than two weeks prior to October 28 and no calls after October 30 until the day Jason left on his business trip to Virginia on November 2.  The fact that there were five calls on Saturday fit with the scenario that Jason and Michelle were fighting.  In fact, if you look at the October timeline and compare Jason’s calling patterns (particularly, calls to Pat Young and to Meredith Fisher) you will notice that the numbers of calls to those two individuals increase in relationship to turmoil within the Youngs’ marriage.  As you may recall, the ring-swallowing incident, which was very upsetting to Michelle, also occurred that last week in October.  It appears to have been a very tumultuous week. 

Putting all of these pieces together, I’m inclined to believe that Plan A was as follows:

  1. Consult friends about the Coach purse during the week of October 22-27
  2. Travel to Brevard for the weekend of October 27-29 with plans to continue on to Tennessee for work-related purposes on the 29th or 30th and return home on Halloween.
  3. Sneak away in the middle of the night on Friday or Saturday night to kill Michelle and return to the mountains of North Carolina before daybreak.
  4. Arrange to have Michelle’s body discovered by Meredith or someone else.
  5. Sob in the bosom of his family when the murder is discovered.

It’s even conceivable that he planned to take Cassidy with him to the mountains that weekend so that she would not be abandoned with her mother’s corpse as was done in Plan B. 

If Plan A had worked, the eBay auction for the Coach purse would have been in full swing and not due to expire until several days after Michelle’s death.  Jason wouldn’t have had to use a fifteen minute meeting at a small community hospital that wasn’t even in his sales territory as his alibi.  He wouldn’t have had to use the excuse of swinging through (hours out of his way) to pick up furniture for Cassidy to explain his presence in Brevard.  His trip to Brevard wouldn’t have conflicted with the arrival of houseguests for NCSU Homecoming, thereby throwing more suspicion on his journey.

So why did Plan A get scrapped?   In my opinion, it was because there was too much fighting going on between Jason and Michelle at that time that was well known to friends and family.  The turmoil would have thrown suspicion on Jason in the eyes of Meredith and the friends who were witness to or heard about the fighting.  Even Michelle Money may have doubted.  So he waited.  When Alan Fisher’s visit to Raleigh was abruptly cancelled, Jason saw the opportunity and seized it.  Clintwood, Virginia was chosen for his business meeting because it was out of state but geographically located to allow him to be in Brevard when he learned of the murder, just like the trip to Tennessee with a stopover in Brevard would have accomplished.  The difference is that the Plan A would have been more believable than Plan B.  If Plan A is true then…

Malice was formed prior to October 28, 2006.

* The phrase “lying in wait” could also apply, but that’s a topic for another article.

Jason Young Arrested

The other shoe has finally dropped.  Jason Young was arrested in Brevard, North Carolina, for the first degree murder of his wife, Michelle Young.  Michelle, 20 weeks pregnant with a son, was bludgeoned to death in her bedroom on November 3, 2006 while Jason was purportedly out of town on a business trip.  Her sister, Meredith Fisher discovered Michelle’s body while retrieving a computer printout from the couple’s home at the request of Jason Young.  Cassidy Young, 2 1/2 years old at the time, was unharmed and discovered by Ms. Fisher in the Youngs’ bed.

Jason Young is in transit from Brevard, North Carolina, to Raleigh.  WRAL has breaking news.

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/6613146/

Click the link below to join the discussion of this case at the forum.

Friction Powered Exchange

Michelle Young: Three Years and Counting

justice

Time to weigh the evidence, Mr. Willoughby.

The Jason You Know

I wrote an earlier entry on this email exchange that took place between Jason and Michelle Young on July 12, 2006, a mere three and a half months prior to her murder, but I don’t think I spoke strongly enough regarding its tone and content.  I don’t know if I am able to adequately describe how disturbing I find it, but I feel the need to address it again.

Michelle Young – “I know you are mad and I am really sorry.  I know you have been doing a lot around the house and with Cass and I really appreciate it.  I have just been really busy at work and I thought this is a slack time for you with your job so you could handle it.
Please give me a call — I want to know who is picking up Cass today.”

Jason Young – ” I don’t care who gets her.”

Jason Young – “I just got home and the goddamn power is out, I called progress and a crew is already out.  Cass pissed herself all over the floor, it’s hot as hell inside and I can’t entertain her enough w/o tv to finish the godamn yard.  I am taking beer and her to pool.  I am in a mood that makes our trip to myrtle seem mild, pray the beer kicks in.  I could kill u for not letting me finish the yard this morning.”

To those of you who consider yourselves to be Jason’s friends, I have to say this.  He is not your friend, and he does not consider you to be his friend.  You are camouflage.  He wears a carefully crafted façade and surrounds himself with you good and decent people in hopes that he will be seen as one of you.  He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Stop ignoring the hairy paws that jut from beneath the fleece and the snarling maw through which he speaks.  Would the Jason you know talk to his wife the way Jason did in the above email?  Would the Jason you know refer to his daughter so crudely and callously?  Michelle’s words are conciliatory and pleading.  Jason’s are hostile, venomous, and threatening.  Don’t let this man continue to manipulate and use you for his own purposes.  It is not courageous or noble to stand by him in his transgressions.  It takes courage and integrity to stand up for what’s right, especially when the transgressor is family or friend. 

Gojo has said many times that Jason is not capable of murdering Michelle.  I believe his words regarding murder were that a person would have to think it before he could do it.  And that Jason is not capable of thinking it.  What say you now, gojo?  What say any of you who thought Jason incapable of murdering his pregnant wife?

——————————-

Edited to renew this plea:

If anyone out there has any knowledge or information as to what occurred on the trip to Myrtle, I would very much like to hear from you.  Please, post a comment or send me an email using the Contact Form on this blog.  Posting a comment at the discussion forum is another option you would be welcome to use.  Thank you for any help you can provide.

Click this LINK to use the Contact Form.

Click this LINK to get to the discussion forum.

Jason’s Journey: The Murderous Route

In the previous fuel analysis, I calculated fuel usage based on Jason’s alibi of a business trip to Clintwood, Virginia, with stops that he is known to have made at the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina; the Hampton Inn in Hillsville, Virginia; and a fuel stop after the meeting at the Get-It Market in Duffield, Virginia.  In this entry, I will make adjustments to the mileage to account for a roundtrip return to the Youngs’ home at 5108 Birchleaf in Raleigh, North Carolina during the night that Michelle was murdered.

  • Handee Hugo #89 to Cracker Barrel:  84.9 miles
  • Cracker Barrel to Hillsville Hampton Inn: 88.5 miles
  • Hillsville Hampton Inn to 5108 Birchleaf: 172.7 miles

Again using the gas mileage specifications from www.fueleconomy.gov , I came up with the following calculations:

  •   Fuel usage: 346.1 miles @ 18 mpg = 19.2 gallons

So upon arriving back at the Raleigh home, Jason would have had only about 3.3 gallons of fuel remaining in his 22.5 gallon tank.  At a useage rate of 18 mpg, that is enough fuel to travel an additional 59.4 miles

A return trip from 5108 Birchleaf to the Hillsville Hampton Inn is a drive of 172.7 miles according to Windows Live Search.  Without enough fuel to make it back to his hotel, Jason would have needed to fill up again during the night.  Windows Live Search shows that it is approximately 59 miles from 5108 Birchleaf in Raleigh to the Amoco Food Shop on Huffman Mill Road in Burlington, North Carolina.   

The drive from a fuel stop in Burlington to the Get-It Market in Duffield with stops at the Hillsville Hampton Inn and the Dickenson Community Hospital in Clintwood, Virginia, is 313.5 miles according to the map, with approximately 188.3 miles of that being on Interstate highways and the rest on two-lane highways through mountainous terrain.

  • 188.3 miles @ 18 mpg = 10.5 gallons
  • 125.2 miles @ 16 mpg = 7.8 gallons
    • Total fuel used after fill-up = 18.3 gallons

Therefore, if Jason returned to Raleigh to murder Michelle, he would have driven approximately 718.6 miles and burned approximately 40.8 gallons of gasoline — about two full tanks in a 2004 Ford Explorer with a few gallons to spare.  It will be interesting to find out exactly how many gallons of fuel he purchased at the Get-It Market on November 3.

Jason’s Journey: Gas Mileage Analysis

The issue of fuel usage has been a point of interest for many following the Michelle Young murder investigation since early on.  Information from the recently executed warrants for Jason Young’s Internet activity have made it possible to better analyze the route that he traveled and the amount of fuel he would have burned on his alibi trip. The following is an excerpt from the 3/10/2009 warrant for Jason Young’s Bebo.com account:

 

 In order to test Jason Young’s gas usage as it compared to the distance that he would have traveled on November 2-3, 2006 investigators with the Wake County Sheriff’s Office performed an experiment.

 

Investigators left South Saunders Street in Raleigh, North Carolina with a full tank of gas in a 2004 Ford Explorer that was comparable with the vehicle driven by Mr. Young.  South Saunders Street was chosen as a departure site because Jason Young stopped here for fuel prior to leaving on his business trip.  In a attempt to replicate Mr. Young’s trip as closely as possible, the stopped at the Cracker Barrel on Landview Dr. in Greensboro, NC, the Hampton Inn in Hillsville, Va, Dickenson Hospital in Clintwood, Va, and finally stopping at the Get-It-Mart in Duffield, Va. to refuel.

 

The amount of fuel used by the investigators was not consistent with the amount of fuel reportedly utilized by Mr. Young.  In fact, investigators knew the comparisons would not be completely accurate prior to conducting the experiment.  This inability to be accurate was because Mr. Young was 35 minutes late to his appointment.  His explanation for being late was due to getting lost.  The 35 minutes Mr. Young was late not only reflects time, but also distance traveled.  Distance traveled will equal gas used and any additional gas usage by Mr. Young would only increase the inconsistency between his reported gas usage and that experienced by the investigators conducting the experiment.

Using Windows Live Maps, I calculated the miles driven on the route from the Handee Hugo #89 in Raleigh, NC, to the Dickenson Community Hospital in Clintwood, VA, and on to the Get-It Market in Duffield, VA, with stops at the Cracker Barrell in Greensboro, NC, and the Hampton Inn in Hillsville, VA:

  • Handee Hugo #89 – Cracker Barrel: 84.9 miles
  • Cracker Barrel – Hillsville Hampton Inn: 88.5 miles
  • Hillsville Hampton – Dickenson Community Hospital: 150.1 miles
  • Dickenson Community Hospital – Get-It Market: 53.2 miles
    • Total miles driven: 376.7 miles

The following calculations were done on the basis of gas mileage specifications for a 2WD, 8 cylinder, 2004 Ford Explorer from www.fueleconomy.gov.

  • Interstate miles driven:  249.7 miles @ 18 mpg = 13.87 gallons burned
  • Other miles driven: 127 miles @ 16 mpg = 7.94 gallons burned
    • Total fuel used between fill-ups at the Handee Hugo #89 and the Get-It Market in Duffield, VA: 21.81 gallons
    • Fuel tank capacity of 2004 Ford Explorer: 22.5 gallons

Using only the above parameters, Jason’s fuel tank would have had less than a gallon left in it when he stopped to refuel in Duffield, VA.  He would have been long past the point of getting a low fuel warning; the needle on his fuel gauge would have been on E.  If he was that low on fuel, why wouldn’t he have fueled up immediately after his meeting in Clintwood an hour earlier instead of driving another hour down the road to get gas in Duffield?

Assume he was a risk-taker and drove until his tank was practically empty; that explanation fails to take into account the time that he was allegedly lost which caused him to be late for his meeting.  Windows Live Maps estimates that it takes approximately 2 hours, 10 minutes to drive from the Wytheville cell tower location to the hospital in Clintwood, Virginia. Jason’s cell phone pinged at 7:40 pm near the Wytheville cell tower. He arrived 35 minutes late for a 10 am meeting at the Dickenson Community Hospital. So the drive actually took him 2 hours, 55 minutes.  To calculate the fuel usage for the time he was allegedly lost, I will estimate that he averaged 65 mph and burned gas at a rate of 16 mpg.  Forty-five minutes of driving  would burn approximately 3 gallons of gas.

Using the above calculations, Jason should have burned approximately 24.81 gallons of gas between fill-ups.  The tank on a 2004 Ford Explorer holds only 22.5 gallons.  So it would appear that he purchased or had access to additional fuel somewhere along the way — a troublesome detail for his defense attorney.

Michelle & Jason: An E-mail exchange

The following email exchange from July 12, 2006, between Michelle Young and  her husband Jason was included in warrant affidavits for Jason Young’s Bebo.com and Google.com accounts executed on March 10, 2009.

Michelle Young – “I know you are mad and I am really sorry.  I know you have been doing a lot around the house and with Cass and I really appreciate it.  I have just been really busy at work and I thought this is a slack time for you with your job so you could handle it.

Please give me a call — I want to know who is picking up Cass today.”

Jason Young – ” I don’t care who gets her.”

Jason Young – “I just got home and the goddamn power is out, I called progress and a crew is already out.  Cass pissed herself all over the floor, it’s hot as hell inside and I can’t entertain her enough w/o tv to finish the godamn yard.  I am taking beer and her to pool.  I am in a mood that makes our trip to myrtle seem mild, pray the beer kicks in.  I could kill u for not letting me finish the yard this morning.”

Setting aside the abusive tone of his replies for a moment, I think it’s important to look at the timeline to gather the full impact of this exchange.

  • May 29, 2006:  Jason and Michelle were involved in a car accident in Transylvania County just outside Jason’s hometown of Brevard, North Carolina.  Michelle was pregnant with the couple’s second child at the time.  Shortly thereafter, it was discovered by ultrasound that the baby had failed to develop (this according to a poster named “just the facts” at the Court TV forum, widely believed to be Jason’s sister, Kim Young) and would not survive.  A therapeutic abortion was performed. 
  • July 1, 2006:  On or about this date, Michelle would have conceived Rylan, the unborn baby boy who died with her at the hands of her murderer on November 3, 2006.  Incidentally, Michelle was in New York for a family reunion in early July.  Jason accompanied her to the reunion, but left early while Michelle and Cassidy stayed on for a while.
  • July 12, 2006:  The above excerpted email exchange.  Although already pregnant with Rylan, it isn’t likely that Michelle was aware of the new pregnancy at this time.  She would, however, have still been recovering emotionally from the loss of the previous unborn baby.

If I have my facts straight, Jason was basically between jobs at this time.  His employment with Sentric Medical had come to an end, and he had not yet started his job with Chartone.  He took a trip to California with his mother, sister, and brother-in-law later that summer. 

What kind of husband talks to his wife the way Jason did in that email, especially to a wife who is recovering from the loss of an unborn baby?  What kind of father talks about his 2 year old daughter the way Jason did in that email?  It’s all very disturbing, but it’s particularly disturbing that it appears that he wanted to instill fear in Michelle with the description of his mood and his announcement that he was taking beer and Cassidy to the pool.  More ominous still:  “pray that the beer kicks in.”  Michelle must have been beside herself with fear for her daughter’s safety at reading those words.

Last but not least, I am greatly interested in his comment about what was probably a trip to Myrtle Beach.

I am in a mood that makes our trip to myrtle seem mild…

What happened at Myrtle Beach?  It must have been been a significant event.  Worse than punching holes in the walls or ripping a door off its hinges.  Surely worse that screaming at Michelle in public.  What was it? 

If anyone out there has any knowledge or information as to what occurred on the trip to Myrtle, I would very much like to hear from you.  Please, post a comment or send me an email using the Contact Form on this blog.  Posting a comment at the discussion forum is another option you would be welcome to use.  Thank you for any help you can provide.

Click this LINK to use the Contact Form.

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Jason Young: Slayer

On Friday, December 5, 2008, Judge Donald Stephens ruled that Jason Young is the “Slayer” of his pregnant wife, Michelle Young, who was found beaten to death in their home on November 3, 2006. Under the ruling, Jason Young cannot benefit financially from his wife’s death. Her entire estate which includes a $1 million life insurance policy will go to her daughter, Cassidy Young.

While the outcome of Linda Fisher’s civil suit against her son-in-law is satisfactory, it is not sufficient. Though nothing can bring Michelle back, justice will not be served until Michelle Young’s killer is convicted of her murder and duly sentenced by the court.

Also on Friday, several warrants were released dating back to February 2007. The probable cause affidavits relate to Jason Young’s email and cell phone use, a theory regarding the possibility that 2½ year-old Cassidy Young was drugged, and a question as to whether or not Cassidy was taken out of the home in Michelle Young’s SUV in the hours after her mother was killed.

For what it’s worth, I consider the possible drugging a more likely scenario than the theory that she may have been driven around in her mother’s vehicle. I don’t intend to write another in-depth blog entry about the release of the latest warrants, as I believe the information released in the affidavits for the February 2008 and November 2008 warrants to be more germane and illuminative as to the facts of the case.

See my previous blog entries regarding those warrants:

Michelle Young: Why no arrest?

 

Links to news articles:

The News & Observer: Judge says Young killed wife
WRAL.com: Judge: Slain woman’s husband liable
NC Wanted: Judge Rules Jason Young Killed Wife
WTVD.com: Civil judge rules Young killed his wife

Link to WRAL.com’s copies of the warrants and other court documents released to date:

http://www.wral.com/news/local/asset_gallery/3401559/