The retrial of accused killer Jason Young may be near an end. Defense counsel is expected to wrap up tomorrow, and court watchers believe the case could head to the jury on Friday. The trial opened in Raleigh on Feb. 6, eight months after the defendant’s first trial ended with a dead-locked jury. Young is accused of killing his wife.
The defendant maintains that he was in a hotel 160 miles away from his home the night his wife died. Prosecutors have argued that he left the hotel, drove back to Wake County, committed the crime and returned the hotel.
Testimony in the retrial has differed somewhat from what the first jury heard. Last June, the trial judge did not allow the prosecutors to present the testimony of daycare workers who cared for Young’s toddler. In the retrial, the judge allowed part of the planned testimony. Prosecutors have also focused on the defendant’s financial affairs and life insurance policies purchased or updated before the murder. Defense counsel countered that the defendant’s daughter, not the defendant, was the beneficiary of the deceased’s policy.
So far, the defendant has not testified in the retrial, though the jury heard his testimony from June. His mother, stepfather, brother-in-law and sister have testified, telling the court about pranks the defendant has taken part in.
Other witnesses focused on forensic evidence that supported Young’s statement of his whereabouts that night. Defense counsel have also questioned the prosecution’s timeline. They say it is doubtful that the defendant could have accomplished so much in the short time he had. Especially troubling was the fact that the murder had been particularly violent and bloody, but investigators found no blood on the defendant’s clothes or in his car, and the defendant had no cuts or bruises.
Defense counsel argue, too, that police quickly focused their investigation on the defendant and ignored evidence that someone else had been in the neighborhood and at the house at the time of the murder. All of these points will likely be woven together in the attorney’s closing argument.
Source: News & Observer, “Mother Defends Young,” Anne Blythe, Feb. 29, 2012