Skip to main content

tv   Dateline  MSNBC  July 10, 2021 2:00am-3:00am PDT

2:00 am
she would be just doing some sort of weird dance that "i told you so." and you know, i'm sure she's thrilled. we got married on her birthday, so that would have made her ecstatic. this is "dateline." >> my mother called and said michelle is dead, how is it possible what happened? >> a young mother found brutally murdered, her little girl left to wander in her mother's blood. police had a suspect, and they say, he had a motive. >> we had an intimate relationship. inad h >> ended up having sex. >> could they prove he was the killer? >> it was a circumstantial casel >> except for that witness, the girl who left those footprints.
2:01 am
>> we will never know what l cassidy saw and what she didn't see. n >> maybe she couldn't tell detectives who the killer was, but maybe she didn't have to. >> the fact that cassidy was spared, would that mean anything to a jury. , >> the person that killed the mother cared about cassidy. ♪♪ hello, welcome to dateline." michelle young was married to her college sweetheart, four months pregnant with her second child when the unthinkable happened. the young mother beaten to death in her own bathroom. troubled marriage. but husband was away on businesn and unraveling this complicated case would take years. here's keith morrison with "silent witness." >> i think i paused for a second and had to take a deep breath
2:02 am
and just the reality of what was going on sank in. >> those who saw the footprints will not forget them. they were tiny, and they were bloody. >> i had to get my composure to finish searching this house to t make sure there was nobody else in the house. rc >> it was the 3rd of november, 2006, early afternoon. scott earp was the wake county sheriffs deputy dispatched to a quiet and leafy neighborhood called in has noted oaks in raleigh, north carolina. >> i think my sister is dead. >> tell me what happened, ma'am. >> i have no idea. oh, my god. nkel >> the caller was meredith fisher. she had just discovered on the floor of the master bedroom the savagely beaten body of her elder sister, 29-year-old michelle young, a woman who in death was about to be famous. >> you listen to me, ma'am.wa you need to calm down so you can help us.
2:03 am
you said there is blood everywhere. >> yes. t >> listen to me, ma'am. is she breathing?re >> i don't think so. >> have you checked? >> michelle. she is cold. >> okay. >> as she spoke, meredith was cradling her two-and-a-half-year-old niece cassidy who had crawled out from under the bed clothes on her parents bed feet from where her mother lay and her voice was caught on the recorded call. had cassidy witnessed the murder? awakened, alone, to find this? >> you just picture a small child walking around in this blood and tracking it across the hallway over into the bathroom. >> by now wake county investigators were descending on the house and having secured the crime scene, earp's job was done. on his way out, he saw cassidy again. she was still in her pink pajamas, still in meredith's arms.n.
2:04 am
he asked meredith a question. >> i looked over the child, and i didn't see any blood so i asked her did you clean the child, and her response was no. i thought it was kind of odd because i was expecting her to say yes, i guess. >> somebody did. >> somebody did. >> but who? was it the same person who murdered the little girl's mother? on this november day all they had were questions. sergeant richard spivey of the wake county sheriff's office probably knows the case better than anyone. r c >> this was a brutal, vicious beating. there was a lot of time and energy invested into this assault. >> why do you say a lot of time and energy?t. >> the medical examiner told us there were over 30 blows with some sort of a blunt object. >> so detectives starting investigating the victim and te everyone else around her. michelle young was born and
2:05 am
raised on long island, new york. >> smiling all the time. she was the life of the party. s >> stacia grossman knew her from childhood. >> she didn't like being the center of attention but liked creating a great atmosphere for everyone to have ai good time. >> michelle was a cheerleader in high school and a straight "a" student. jennifer powers felt down to her. >> she had a book worm sense to her where she was very studious and goal oriented and a great person to be around and a fun, happy spirit, and someone that i wanted to spend a lot of time with. >> lots of people did. when she chose a college far from home, north carolina state, she was soon surrounded again by an admiring group of women friends, best friends, buddies. fiona child was her sorority big sister. >> there is one picture and it came out beautiful because we liked it because we thought we looked like charlie's angels posed without intention of doing that. >> it was sometime in 2001 when friends started hearing about michelle's new guy, a fellow
2:06 am
student named jason young, heard how he had grown up in the north carolina mountains, how he loved to camp, how he was a life at tailgate parties. michelle fell hard and fast. >> they seemed like a good couple.y he was different from other men she dated in the past. he wasn't as serious about a career as she was. he was a little bit less sophisticated than michelle was, but she seemed to be very happy with him. >> michelle and jason married in october 2003. the day after the wedding, they shared their big secret, michelle was pregnant. their daughter cassidy was bornr early the next year. >> i love you, mommy. >> i love you, too, cassidy. >> and when she came along, it was love at first sight. ♪♪ >> michelle was an enthusiastic mother. >> huh? >> huh? [ laughter ]
2:07 am
>> by all accounts jason was a good dad. >> he was a great play mate. he knew how to sit on the floor and play with his daughter, you know. >> the youngs moved into a big fine house on birch leaf in 2005. both of them worked, he a salesman and she a financial specialist. in the summer of 2006 michelle got pregnant again. they kept the news to themselves but it was clear something good was happening. >> the comment he said to me was he is excited to have another baby, not implying that she was pregnant but that he was excited at the prospect of it. >> just a few months later michelle was dead. jason was 170 miles away in virginia on a business trip the night of the murder. he heard the news the next afternoon and returned to raleigh. stacia got word from her mother.
2:08 am
>> my mother called and said michelle is dead. i said michelle who? some celebrity? what are you talking about, howe is it possible it happened? >> the questions the investors were asking themselves. >> as the investigation heats up, a security camera provides an important clue. not what it caught but what it missed and why.ta >> coming up -- >> there was a camera there unplugged. >> who had something to hide? when "dateline" continues. wge shouldn't something, you know, wacky be happening right now? we thought people could use a break. we've all been through a lot this year. -that makes sense. -yeah. so... ♪♪ now's not a good time 3/5ths of nsync. are you sure? you have us booked all day. -read the room, guys. -yeah. right?
2:09 am
♪ when i was young ♪ no-no-no-no-no please please no. ♪ i never needed anyone. ♪ front desk. yes, hello... i'm so... please hold. ♪ those days are done. ♪ i got you. ♪ all by yourself. ♪ go with us and find millions of flexible options. all in our app. expedia. it matters who you travel with. this shot is our shot. the covid-19 vaccines are ready.
2:10 am
and so is walgreens, with pharmacists who you know, who know you. so, when you're ready, they'll be ready to give it to you safely, for free. this is our shot at bringing our communities back together. providing healing, not just for some, but for all. this is our shot. this is our shot. this is our shot. talk to me. what do we got? when you have xfinity xfi, with blazing speed... this is our shot. [ screaming ] a powerful connection. that's another level. and ultimate control. power us up. you can do more than you ever thought possible. yes! hold on. get a powerful and secure connection you can count on. only with xfinity xfi. and see f9 only in theaters. ♪ ♪
2:11 am
2:12 am
the facts were stark and ugly. one night in november in 2006, while her husband was away on business, michelle young was attacked in her own bedroom and brutally beaten to death, her body discovered the next day by her sister meredith, along with her two and a half-year-old daughter cassidy, who had been left to wander in her blood. for the investigators who set out to find her killer, no way to get those little footprints out of their minds. sergeant richard spivey, lead investigator. >> those of us who work in law enforcement, this is our profession, but we're also parents, and that certainly strikes a different note with you when you see something like that. >> michelle's husband, a medical software salesman, was 170 miles away the night of the murder. even so, investigators had to look at him. >> we knew he was the last one to talk with michelle that night, and we know he was the
2:13 am
reason she was found. he called meredith to go to the house. >> jason young's business trip that night was routine. security tapes showed him getting gas about 7:30 p.m. as he left raleigh. two hours later, he was seen on tape at a cracker barrel restaurant in greensboro. later he checked into this hampton inn in hillsdale, virginia. this is him at 8:00 p.m. and him again at midnight. he also made a phone call around midnight, and that was the last time anybody heard from jason young until he made another call at 7:40 the next morning. >> a normal person would look at this and say well he was 170 miles away, he's got an alibi. >> that sounds like a great distance, you know, but 170 miles, you can get from the crime scene to the hotel in about two and a half hours. >> perhaps, but there were curious anomalies to the crime scene that they couldn't explain. the jewelry box with the two drawers missing. was it a bungled burglary?
2:14 am
then there were footprints near the body that seemed to eliminate jason. an obvious print on the pillow was a size 10, but jason wore a size 12. this was weird. there was another partial footprint that defied easy identification, so they began calling in shoe experts. and now they wondered, were there two attackers? of course, investigators discovered early on that michelle and jason's marriage was strained, and in the last weeks of michelle's life, things were not good. >> at our friend shelly's wedding, he was so drunk and just really out of it. when we got to the wedding, our friends were letting us know that michelle and jason were fighting and they were referring to it as world war iii. >> jennifer powers told investigators about another fight that october. michelle wanted her mother to stay with them for the holidays, and jason, who had a tense
2:15 am
relationship with his mother-in-law, wanted to limit her stay and said so in an e-mail, along with another nugget. >> he wrote, our marriage has seen better days and i don't see it trending up. and i remember that really striking a chord with me because i didn't know that their marriage had seen better days. >> of course, investigators wanted to interview jason young. maybe he could tell them something. but he refused to talk to them. >> he talked to the lawyer, and then under the advice of counsel he declined to speak with us at all. >> didn't ask about it? how his wife died? >> no. >> perhaps, investigators thought, that business trip deserved a second look. so they went to the hotel, poked around and discovered some odd activities that night in a stairwell near an exit. >> there was a camera there that had been unplugged. >> really. >> yes. it was one of the side exits of
2:16 am
the hotel. one of the fire stairs that go down to the first floor. >> was there any other tampering done? >> well, the door that was adjacent to where this camera was located, that door also had been propped open that night. >> how do you know that? >> the gentleman that was working as the clerk that night found a rock that had been placed in the door to keep the door from closing. then they plugged the camera back in so it's now working again, and at about 6:35 that morning, suddenly that camera is pointing straight at the ceiling. >> same camera. >> same camera. and it's tampered with yet again. >> if that was jason young's work, is it possible he did make the 340-mile round trip? could he have killed his wife and cleaned up his daughter all in seven and a half hours, all without ever being seen? to find out, investigators played a hunch. they visited every gas station on the route, showed jason's photos, talked to the night
2:17 am
clerks and came across a woman named gracie doms in a tiny place called king, north carolina. she took one look at that photograph and recognized it instantly. he was the foul-mouthed customer, she said, who came storming into the store to complain that the pumps were locked. and what time was it? 5:30 a.m., the morning of the murder. >> there was actually an altercation between the two of them, so you have the reason why she would remember him as opposed to any other customer that may have just happened into the store. >> if that attendant was right, investigators may have undercut jason's alibi. still, it wasn't enough. so they plodded ahead, painstaking work, took time. then years after the murder, they finally got a match for that partial footprint. >> the state bureau of investigation and the fbi were able to eventually identify that
2:18 am
shoe as a hush puppy shoe, and it was a size 12, which was the same size that he wore. >> throughout the investigation, jason steadfastly maintained his silence. rather than face a legal battle where he would be asked some tough questions he gave up custody of his daughter. >> everyone that we spoke with, all of them talked about how much he loved cassidy and what a great dad he was. to just turn over primary custody, that was very surprising. >> investigators had heard enough. they believed they had a case. circumstantial, but a case. three years after michelle young's body was found on the bedroom floor, jason young was charged with her murder. investigators and prosecutors knew that very little pointed directly toward jason young, but so far nothing pointed away. coming up, the case against jason young as an alleged killer
2:19 am
and as a cheating husband. >> we had an intimate relationship for the two days that he was there. >> we ended up having sex. >> he never settled down. >> when "dateline" continues. here, you can find your style in every aisle. got an eye for design? we've got it designed for your budget. want endless aisles of more? we've got more. way more. when you explore our showrooms of style,
2:20 am
you'll find whatever you're into. at a price you'll really get into. lowe's. home to any budget. home to any possibility. woo! you are busy... working, parenting, problem solving. at new chapter vitamins we've been busy too... innovating, sourcing organic ingredients, testing them and fermenting. fermenting? yeah like kombucha or yogurt. and we formulate everything so your body can really truly absorb the natural goodness. that's what we do, so you can do you. new chapter wellness, well done. age before beauty? why not both? visibly diminish wrinkled skin in... crepe corrector lotion... only from gold bond. this is dr. arnold t. petsworth, he's the owner of petsworth vetworld.
2:21 am
business was steady, but then an influx of new four-legged friends changed everything. dr. petsworth welcomed these new patients. the only problem? more appointments meant he needed more space. that's when dr. petsworth turned to his american express business card, which offers spending potential that's built for his changing business needs. he used his card to furnish a new exam room and everyone was happy. get the card built for business. by american express.
2:22 am
jason young went on trial for the murder of his pregnant wife, michelle, in june 2011. by then, he had spent 18 months in a jail cell. the guy who lived for tailgates,
2:23 am
the guy who loved to party, that guy was long gone. prosecutor becky holt opened for the state. >> the defendant had a plan. the plan was to murder his wife. his plan was to get away with it. >> with no murder weapon found, the prosecution's case was built on that partial shoe print. they knew now that jason once owned a pair of hush puppies like these that matched the print. they were now missing. they also told jurors about that early morning visit to the gas station and the suspicious activity at the hotel. but the thrust of their case was this: jason young was trying, in the most violent possible way, to get out of a troubled marriage. >> were you aware of tensions in that marriage? >> yes. i was well aware. >> michelle's sister lived near the couple, and for a period was cassidy's nanny. as the youngs' fights intensified, she took on the role of marriage counselor, too. >> what would you say were the main issues? >> michelle's main issues were
2:24 am
jason being more responsible, understanding her more, and his main concern was their lack of sex life. >> prosecutors called friends to the stand to paint a picture of a marriage that was unraveling, out loud and in public. >> jason made it very well known that, you know, he was upset about the lack of sex in the relationship. >> and at parties, said fiona childs, jason's x-rated trips were ferociously over the top. . >> i never observed it, myself, i heard about it. >> he would expose himself and do what he thought were funny tricks. i was always just rather embarrassed for michelle. >> he never settled down. it was as if he was still living the single life and he never bought into the marriage and what all that meant. >> in october 2006 when michelle
2:25 am
was four months pregnant, jason became deeply involved with another woman. and not just any woman. michelle money was one of michelle young's close friends from college, one of those charlie's angels. in early october, days before his third wedding anniversary, jason flew to florida to see michelle money. she testified they both knew it was wrong. >> we basically just hung out at the house, and we had an intimate relationship for the two days he was there. >> jason was crazy about her. his friend josh dalton said. >> he basically told me he thought he was in love with her. >> michelle's mother, linda fisher, testified that in the final weeks of michelle's life, she could see the toll the failing marriage was taking on her pregnant daughter. >> she had her head on my lap, and she was lying out, and i was
2:26 am
stroking her hair. and she was empty. >> and what did she tell you? >> things weren't working out with jason. >> two days before she was murdered, michelle phoned her sister meredith to report yet another blow-up with jason. >> she was just, i've had it. she said that, you know, more than one time. i can't do this anymore. >> jason was telling one of his close friends the same thing. and prosecutors said just days before michelle was murdered, he indulged in one last transgression, a casual hook-up with an old friend named carol anne sauerby in his own living room. michelle was away at the time. >> cassidy was put down to bed and had a couple drinks.
2:27 am
we just were talking and -- we ended up having sex. >> but divorce was apparently not an option for jason. >> he had made a statement at one time that he was afraid that if he ever got a divorce that michelle would take cassidy back to new york. >> did he indicate to you that he would have some concerns about ever seeing cassidy again? >> correct. >> still, one big question remained. was a good time guy like jason young even capable of murder? genevieve cargo was engaged to jason in 1999 before he met michelle. she took the stand to testify about a fight they had over jason's excessive drinking. >> he became agitated. he said something to the effect that if i'm going to make such a terrible husband, then give me my ring back. >> did you give it to the defendant?
2:28 am
>> no. he began trying to pull the ring off, and it wouldn't come off. he was throwing me from one bed to the other and jumping on me with all his weight and pinning my arms, both of them, behind me. >> prosecutors hope to convince the jury it all added up to a motive for murder. so how would the defense counterattack? with a witness who could refute every charge. >> coming up -- jason young finally breaks his silence as he takes the stand to testify. >> did you kill your wife michelle? >> no, sir. >> were you there when it happened? >> no, sir. >> with when "dateline" continues. works with bosch's precisionwash technology to clean, degrease and shine every dish, every load. for a sparkling clean, from bosch to finish. what can i du with less asthma? with dupixent i can du more...
2:29 am
yardwork... teamwork... long walks.... that's how you du more, with dupixent, which helps prevent asthma attacks. dupixent is not for sudden breathing problems. it's an add-on-treatment for specific types of moderate-to-severe asthma that can improve lung function for better breathing in as little as two weeks. and can reduce, or even eliminate, oral steroids. and here's something important. dupixent can cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. get help right away if you have rash, shortness of breath, chest pain, tingling or numbness in your limbs. tell your doctor if you have a parasitic infection, and don't change or stop your asthma treatments, including steroids, without talking to your doctor. are you ready to du more with less asthma? just ask your asthma specialist about dupixent. ever notice how stiff clothes can feel rough on your skin? for softer clothes that are gentle on your skin,
2:30 am
try downy free & gentle downy will soften your clothes without dyes or perfumes. the towel washed with downy is softer, and gentler on your skin. try downy free & gentle.
2:31 am
days after the assassination of jovenel moise, they want to send in troops. they will travel to haiti as soon as possible to assist. defense barriers are coming down, there will still be additional security measures which previously welcome some 2.5 million visitors per year. now, back to "dateline." >> welcome back to "dateline," i'm craig melvin. jason young was on trial for the
2:32 am
murder of his wife michelle. prosecutors argued the software salesman killed his wife to get out of an unhappy marriage. to bolster their case, they called two of jason's lovers to the stand, women who testified about his affairs. but defense called a star witness of their own. after 12 long years, jason young was about to break his silence. keith morrison with "silent witness." . >> what the prosecution didn't tell you -- >> there is an art to the business of criminal defense, and it would take a true artist to repaint the prosecution's dark portrait of jason young. so what could defense attorney mike clinkerson do? well, to begin with, as he told the jury, he agreed with the prosecution. jason young was not a good husband. >> he acted at times like an immature jerk. but that does not make him a
2:33 am
killer. >> the defense was not about to make any more concessions, mind you. that jewelry box from the bedroom, there was dna on it that didn't match either michelle or jason. the suspicious activity at the hotel? there was a fingerprint on that camera, and it wasn't jason young's. and there wasn't any forensic evidence that tied jason to the crime scene. and there was no blood in his car. there was not a scratch on him. >> ladies and gentlemen, jason lynn young did not murder his wife. he did not murder their unborn son. and this case has not been solved. >> who better to make that argument than jason young himself? but so far, remember, he had never said a word to anyone about that november night in almost five years silence. >> it's always a big decision for defense attorneys whether or not to call their client. >> beth karas is a former prosecutor and legal analyst who
2:34 am
covered the trial. >> this is a case that really begged for jason young to testify. >> why after all of this time? >> if he's truly innocent, get on the stand and tell the story. >> we call jason young. >> with his mother sitting in the front row, jason young prepared to do just that. defense attorney brian collins hit it hard off the top. >> did you kill your wife michelle? >> no, sir. >> were you there when it happened? >> no, sir. >> what about jason's missing hush puppies that matched the partial shoe print? he no longer owned them, he said. >> were those the shoes you had on november 2nd? >> no, sir. >> they were ratty, he said, told michelle to give them to good will. as for the night of the murder, after he checked into the hotel, he left the room twice, first to get a power cord for his laptop. >> i was going over the sales call that i had the next day. >> the second trip, he testified, was to smoke a cigar. >> i had to go outside to smoke a cigar.
2:35 am
and i also wanted to look at some sports schedules and some sports standings, and so i wanted to see if i could pick up the usa today as well. >> that newspaper run explained why he was seen at the front desk, he said, around midnight. >> so between the time you smoked the cigar and went back upstairs and went to sleep, did you leave that room until the next morning? >> no, sir. >> the next morning after his sales call, jason testified he realized he had left some ebay printouts sitting on the computer printer at home. they showed purses. he was thinking about buying one for michelle as a belated anniversary present. >> i realized i didn't bring those papers. >> why was it important to you that somebody get into those papers? >> because i wanted it to be a surprise. a surprise for michelle means so much more than anything.
2:36 am
called his sister-in-law to ask if she would go to the house to get those ebay papers. he left meredith a voice mail. >> if you could do me a huge favor and go over there and see if you could find them sitting on the computer. >> then he headed to his mother's place in the mountains nearby. and it was there, he testified hours later, that he learned michelle had been murdered. >> i just -- i just fell. i just -- i broke on the inside. i just broke and i didn't believe it. >> family members drove him back to raleigh. during the drive, he said his friends called. >> ryan and josh had said that the investigators were asking really ugly questions and pointing their finger at me and doing things like that, and they said, you don't need to talk to anybody. you need to get a lawyer before you talk to anybody. >> and then the explanation for his long silence. >> the lawyer that i got after talking with him, he actually advised me to not go talk to the police.
2:37 am
>> did you take that advice? >> yes, sir, i did. >> did he also tell you not to talk to anybody about it? >> that's exactly what he said, he said don't talk to anybody about anything. >> the defense also addressed the motive that prosecutors had laid out that jason wanted to escape a bad marriage and keep custody of cassidy and spend time with his new love. >> did you have any designs on leaving michelle young for michelle money? >> no, sir. >> why not? >> i think we both knew it was wrong. i don't think we either one dreamed that it would ever be found out. >> pushing me around. >> as for that violent episode with his ex-fiancee, jason had an explanation for it. >> did you throw her around on the bed like she said? >> no, sir. what i did was wrong. i did pin her down and i took the ring. >> okay. what was your level of intoxication at that time?
2:38 am
>> i was very intoxicated, but i don't feel like that's an excuse for what i did. >> and they questioned him about the most important woman in his life. >> did you want to stay married to michelle? >> yes, i did. i wanted to have another baby and i wanted the family to grow. >> he also explained why he gave up custody of his daughter without a fight. >> were you able to afford a lawyer for a full-blown custody battle? >> no, sir, i had -- due to the media and some internet website, the job that i had, i lost it. >> his testimony lasted three hours. >> jason young was a very good witness. he understood what he had to do when he was on the stand. >> so he didn't come off as contrived or phoney, like he had put this together very carefully in order to account for all the evidence that they had? >> he had access to police
2:39 am
reports, all the discovery. he knew the state's vulnerabilities, and so he could arguably tailor his testimony to fit with an innocent explanation. >> how did jason young do? 12 jurors were about to decide. >> coming up. >> were you working on your marriage when you were having sex with caroline sauerby in your home? >> when "dateline" continues. sou deep in the woods? turns out you were right about the general. they're actually a quality insurance company. let's get out of here. five more minutes, my skunk is almost done. for a great low rate, and nearly 60 years of quality coverage, go with the general. get great values like $650 off for a great low rate, and nearly 60 years exclusive samsung refrigerators at the home of great appliance brands. lowe's. home to any budget. home to any possibility.
2:40 am
♪all by yourself.♪ you look a little lost. i can't find my hotel. oh. oh! ♪♪ this is not normal. no. ♪♪ so? ♪♪ right? go with us and find millions of flexible options, all in our app. expedia. it matters who you travel with.
2:41 am
ugh, these balls are moist. or is that the damp weight of self-awareness you now hold in your hands? yeah (laugh) keep your downstairs dry with gold bond body powder. ♪♪ [music and sound effects played in reverse] this...is our shot.
2:42 am
the covid-19 vaccines are ready. and so is walgreens, with pharmacy experts ready to make it easy for you to get it safely, for free. because this is our shot... ...at getting back together. [swords clashing] - had enough? - no... arthritis. here. new aspercreme arthritis. full prescription-strength? reduces inflammation? thank the gods. don't thank them too soon. kick pain in the aspercreme.
2:43 am
it was riveting. almost five years of silence about his wife's murder broken here in this courtroom. >> i love cassidy and i loved michelle. >> and then he went to murder his wife. >> now prosecutor becky holt began pulling apart a story she had just heard for the first time. >> were you working on your marriage when you were having sex with caroline sauerby in your home less than two weeks before your wife was murdered? >> no, ma'am. that was not the way to work on a marriage. that was very detrimental. >> were you working on your marriage when you called michelle money? >> michelle and i confided a lot in each other and we talked about my issues with my wife, and she talked about her issues with her husband. >> so is the answer yes, when you had an affair with michelle money that you were working on your marriage? >> no, ma'am, having the sexual intercourse and having the intimacy was very detrimental to
2:44 am
that. >> the cross-examination lasted a full hour, the next day, the case went to the jury. >> retire to the jury deliberation room. >> it soon became clear the jurors were having trouble. >> the jury has indicated they have not yet reached a unanimous decision. >> the jury was split 6-6. the judge sent them back to try to make it unanimous. but hours later, they were back. and courtroom 3c was still. >> it appears they are hopelessly deadlocked at this point. >> eight jurors had voted for acquittal, four voted guilty. the judge declared a mistrial. was serious consideration given to dropping the case? >> i think there was serious consideration as to is there more we can do? >> so the prosecutors decided they would try again. but this time with the one thing they didn't have the first time. jason's own story. the second trial began in
2:45 am
february, 2012, this time howard cummings led the prosecution, hoping to use jason's own words to convict him. but first, prosecutors called that night clerk at the gas station, gracie, who remembered jason complaining about the locked pumps. >> when he came to in pay, he started cussing and raising cane. >> what time did this happen? >> 5:00, 5:30 in the morning. >> a time jason said he was at the hotel. then prosecutors had new witnesses and new testimony. they wanted jurors to hear about cassidy who's bloody footprints they contended made her a witness to murder. . >> when i got to cassidy, i said, what are you doing? >> day care worker took the stand. told them she watched cassidy playing alone days after her mother was murdered.
2:46 am
>> had the chair and doll and mommy doll in other hand and just hit him. >> unsettling as it was, prosecutors wanted jurors to know he left a silent witness behind, a witness he would never harm. >> the fact that cassidy was spared, did that mean anything to you or would that mean anything to a jury? >> certainly, it meant that the person tha killed the mother, we felt, cared about cassidy. >> fiona childs took the stand. prosecutors pressed her about a life insurance policy jason arranged. and michelle had questions. >> it did raise a red flag that she brought up specifically her life insurance. she brought it up several times asking me didn't i think that asking me didn't i think that a million dollars was too much,
2:47 am
and did they really need that? >> after michelle died, fiona found out the true amount of the policy was actually $4 million. >> i was just in total shock, thinking, that is incredibly excessive. >> prosecutors also told the jury about civil lawsuits against jason brought by michelle's mother and sister. one a wrongful death case filed in 2008, a year before he was charged with murder. over the defense's objection, court clerk lauren friedman testified about that lawsuit. . >> there is an alleged paragraph, reading verbatim from the record, early morning hours, jason young brutally murdered michelle young at their residence. >> he went on to testify that jason never responded to the allegations, led to default judgment against him saying that jason killed his wife. . >> a default judgment does not mean the facts alleged are true.
2:48 am
it does not mean he's guilt. and the judge at the criminal trial told the jury that in his instructions. however, when you hear the statement jason young brutally murdered his wife, but that doesn't mean he's guilty, folks, hello, you know? >> and prosecutors made sure the jury heard who signed that ruling. >> judge stephens. >> the judge in front of them for this trial. >> jury hearing that, that's going to carry a lot of weight. >> this is the complaint that was filed in december seeking custody of cassidy. >> prosecutors also called the attorney involved in the custody case over daughter cassidy and the same allegations were repeated yet again. >> the jury heard several times through the two civil complaints that jason young brutally murdered michelle young.
2:49 am
>> highlight came from playing his entire testimony from the first and began to rip it apart. prosecutors tried to show that jason's call to meredith to pick up the ebay printouts was only a ploy to have her go to the house and find cassidy. why else call her. they called the sergeant to the stand. >> that auction was going to end 8:00 p.m. eastern standard time. >> what date was that? >> that was on november 2nd to november 6th. >> the night of the murder. now prosecutors tried to prove that jason lied about his reasons for leaving. the hotel room. in his original testimony he told the court he left the first time to get a power cord for his laptop. >> why is it you wanted to look on your laptop? >> i was going over the sales call that i had the next day.
2:50 am
>> but special agent mike smith took the stand to say young didn't use his laptop for work that night. >> this is an internet site dedicated to sports. >> jason said he went out a second time to smoke a cigar. but prosecutors contended jason was a fierce anti-smoker, and >> can you tell me whether or not there was any substantial outerwear that the defendant had in his luggage or was wearing? >> no, sir. i think it was a suit jacket. >> okay. >> that was the only outerwear that i'm aware of. >> jason chose not to testify this time, but the defense fought back, of course. they argued the gas station attendant's memory couldn't be trusted because of a childhood brain injury. >> i've had memory problems since i was 6 because i've been through a lot with myself and my kids and my ex-husband. >> the defense also argued the
2:51 am
case really wasn't solved, that there was no physical evidence to prove that jason was the killer. >> there wasn't one scratch of mr. miller. that he would have never had time to make that trip and commit that murder, that he didn't have the mind-set of a murderer, and the cigar, it shows jason owned a humidor and made a purchase of a cigar at that cigar store and then it was over again and time for another jury to consider whether jason young would go to jail or walk out of court a free man. coming up -- the verdict. take two. >> we, the jury, by unanimous verdict find jason lee young to be -- >> when "dateline" continues. ws
2:52 am
super emma just about sleeps in her cape. but when we realized she was battling sensitive skin, we switched to tide hygienic clean free. it's gentle on her skin, and out cleans our old free detergent. tide hygienic clean free. hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin. i order my groceries online now. shingles doesn't care. i keep my social distance. shingles doesn't care. i stay within my family bubble. shingles doesn't care. because if you've had chicken pox, you're already carrying the virus that causes shingles.
2:53 am
in fact, about 1 in 3 people will develop shingles, and the risk only increases as you age. so what can protect you against shingles? shingrix protects. now you can protect yourself from shingles with a vaccine proven to be over 90% effective. shingrix is a vaccine used to prevent shingles in adults 50 years and older. shingrix does not protect everyone and is not for those with severe allergic reactions to its ingredients or to a previous dose. an increased risk of guillain-barré syndrome was observed after vaccination with shingrix. the most common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, tiredness, headache, shivering, fever, and upset stomach. talk to your pharmacist or doctor about protecting yourself with shingrix. shingles doesn't care. but we do. shingles doesn't care. this is cynthia suarez, cfo of go-go foodco.,
2:54 am
an online food delivery service. business was steady, until... gogo-foodco. go check it out. whaatt?! overnight, users tripled. which meant hiring 20 new employees and buying 20 new laptops. so she used her american express business card, which gives her more membership rewards points on her business purchases. somebody ordered some laptops? cynthia suarez. cfo. mvp. get the card built for business. by american express. ugh, these balls are moist. or is that the damp weight of self-awareness you now hold in your hand? yeah-h-h. (laugh) keep your downstairs dry with gold bond body powder.
2:55 am
for more than five years, michelle young's family and
2:56 am
friends had been waiting for answers. who killed their pretty pregnant michelle? many thought they knew. >> it was him. you know, i didn't know all the evidence. i didn't know half the things i know now, but i felt that way. >> one jury failed to decide, and now attorneys were making their final arguments to a second jury. >> be mad at him. hate him if you want to. but when you look at the physical evidence in this case, it does not match up. it does not match up to jason having killed his wife and unborn son. >> 30 blows? that's not from a stranger. that is a mad, mad domestic abuser. >> soon that jury was behind closed doors in the wake county superior court. after two days, they were back with a verdict. >> we, the jury, by unanimous verdict find the deft jason lee young to be guilty of first-degree murder of michelle
2:57 am
young. >> guilty of murder. his mother was equally stoic. on the other side of the court, michelle young's bereaved mother and sister wept. fiona at home got the news from a friend. >> she said he's guilty. i think, what? >> jason young received a life sentence, chose not to address the court. even as the bailiffs led him away, he remained expressionless. the prosecutors told us they were relieved. >> to have family members who we've been working with for five and a half years and they finally have justice, you know. >> we've been telling them for years, just trust. just trust that it will be the right result. >> but because it? a year and a half ticked by and
2:58 am
then this. >> attorneys for jason young demanding a new trial saying the trial that led to his conviction had significant errors. >> december 2013, jason young's new attorney launched his appeal. >> who is the killer? is jason young the person responsible for miss young's death? and, you know, it seems fundamentally unfair. >> what was fundamentally unfair? remember during the trial the prosecutor pointed out the possible of civil cases against jason brought by michelle's family. they accused jason of murder. >> jason young brutally murdered michelle young. >> way out of bound, said the attorney. the jury should not have been allowed to hear about any of that. outside the court michelle's sister meredith predicted the appeal would be thrown out. but she was wrong. >> a raleigh man is getting a
2:59 am
third trial in the death of his pregnant wife. >> in april 2014 the judge ruled it prejudiced the jury and they took exception to the fact the prosecutor was allowed to tell the jurors it was their trial judge who signed the civil judgment against jason which said he killed his wife. in fact, the appeals court said introducing everyday about the civil cases was a violation of north carolina law. >> that law says you cannot use a civil complaint, a civil congratulations as proof in a criminal case. >> but a year later, the state supreme court reversed the appeal court's decision and in 2017, yet another attempt by jason young to get a third trial, this time on the grounds his defense team was ineffective was also denied. but children know little of the arcane world of emotions and appeals.
3:00 am
cassidy has grown. her father, her mother, snatches of memory ever farther away. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. ♪♪ breaking on msnbc, we're awaiting the remoovlg of two confederate statues in charlottesville, virginia, which sparked a deadly rally four years ago, but will it help the community heal or stir more violence? will we need a third covid vaccine shot? one company says it's necessary. conflicting evidence as the delta variant spreads around the world. >> today, the recommendation is that we do not need a boost at this point.

161 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on