December 15, 2009 10:37 AM
Jason Young Arrested for Allegedly Beating Pregnant Wife Michelle Young to Death in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (CBS) Jason Young, the North Carolina man who has long been suspected of killing his pregnant wife, Michelle Marie Young, while having adulterous affairs, has been arrested and charged with bludgeoning her to death.
Photo: Michelle Young and daughter Cassidy.
Authorities have charged Young, 35, with first-degree murder after a three-year-long investigation, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.
He is expected to make his first court appearance at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Michelle Young, 29, was five months pregnant when she was found beaten to death in her home on Nov. 3, 2006. Her then-2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, was found alone, but unharmed, in the home.
Photo: Oct. 2003 wedding of Jason and Michelle Young.
Jason Young, who moved with his daughter after his wife's death, has long been a suspect, and in March, a Wake County judge awarded her family $15.5 million in damages in a wrongful death suit against him.
According to search warrants in the case, Jason Young told investigators he was out of town on business when his wife was killed. Michelle Young's sister, Meredith Fisher, found her body after he asked her to go to the couple's home to retrieve a fax.
Photo: Jason and Michelle Young.
In Fisher's 911 call she says, "There's like blood footprints all over the house, like her daughter's little footprints." There were no signs of forced entry.
Neighbor David Martin describes the Young's house as visible from the street. "It's not the kind of place that you'd expect someone to break in and kill somebody," he says.
Photo: Suburban North Carolina home of Jason and Michelle Young.
Those close to the Young's reported that the two were a beautiful couple, but that it had been a "bizarre" year for the victim and her family.
Michelle Marie Young and John Young had survived a car accident in Transylvania County in May when their car veered off the road into a river.
And then there is the alleged infidelity.
Photo: Michelle Young and daughter Cassidy.
Records show Jason Young and Michelle Money, a friend of Young's wife, contacted each other 980 times within one month of the murder, and 51 times the day before. Michelle Money was the last person Jason Young contacted on the eve of the murder, and first person he called the morning of the murder.
In addition to Young's relationship with Money, investigators interviewed two of his former co-workers who claimed he was "very flirtatious" and did not appear to be happily married. The first co-worker said Jason Young told her, "I'm not getting sex" and "she (Michelle) bribes me for sex," according to one warrant.
Authorities have previously said Jason Young refused to cooperate with the investigation into his wife's murder.
Testifying during a hearing regarding the wrongful death lawsuit, Wake County Sheriff's Department investigator R.C. Spivey called the slaying "particularly brutal," according to CBS affiliate WRAL.
"(It was) the most severe physical beating I've ever seen someone encounter," he said. "This [was] pretty extreme, a pretty vicious attack that she underwent."
An autopsy found that Michelle Young died from blunt force trauma to the head after being hit at least 10 times. The report also suggests that her killer tried to strangle her before beating her to death.
In Spivey's affidavit, the sheriff's investigator stated that: "Based on my experience in law enforcement ...and my knowledge of the evidence gathered in the investigation of the death of Michelle Young, in my opinion, the allegation ... that 'Jason Young brutally murdered Michelle Young at their residence' is true."
Investigators haven't offered a motive for the killing, but, in search warrants, investigators have described the couple's marriage as a "volatile" relationship that included violent arguments and infidelity on his part, according to WRAL.
Other warrants implied Jason Young might have sneaked out of a Virginia hotel room the night his wife was killed, and others suggested Cassidy Young had been drugged to keep her quiet during the crime.
Authorities arrested Jason Young in Brevard, a town in southwestern North Carolina on Monday. Deputies pulled him over at about 1:30 p.m., while he was driving. He arrived at the Wake County jail Monday evening for booking.
VIDEO COURTESY OF CBS AFFILIATE WRAL