Mommy is getting a spanking for biting. The only eyewitness testimony to the murder of Michelle Young, through the mind of her beloved daughter. Spanked - the discipline of a parent – for biting – Michelle’s fault. CY understood that her Mommy deserved to be spanked, for something she did. As she walked in her mother’s blood that night, her mother’s body covered in boo-boo’s all over, as she tried to stay close to her mother, to perhaps bring her favorite doll next to her Mother, she did not understand that her Mommy would never wake from the punishment – the spanking – she had received. Who thought Michelle was at fault? Who thought that Michelle was to blame? Who, in his mind, decided he had the right to spank her for what she had done. Who did this - brought maximum, deadly, merciless force on a sleeping pregnant woman. This is not the type of person to own up to a merciless killing. This is the kind of person who sneaks at night, who lives in deceit. This is the kind of person who lives in lies, who lives in selfish constant self-interest, who can somehow disregard the worth of each person, even those close to him. We have named him, and we will name him again, because his acts of violence, his acts of attempting to cover his trail, his desire to be rid of obligation and responsibility, tell us his name. But first, let us remember Michelle. In the beauty of her youth, she pledged her heart and her love to a man she believed would be her mate, her friend, her companion, her protector. And from that moment of vows, when she thought that profession of love and fidelity and companionship was a real intent to share these things, she began to learn just how cold the heart can be. Her mate urged her to abortion, told her to disregard miscarriage, and treated her during intimacy in a way that forced her to feel, in any real way, raped. Her friend berated her, threatened her, chastised her, diminished her, disregarded her, and dismissed her as nothing but a collection of complaints and burdens. Her companion showered his attention on others. His words of affection were spent on women whose only common trait was his belief of the success of his attempts at seduction of them. He saved his words of love for them, and spared them his dark side. Her protector left her vulnerable, alone with a child with a house that was unsecured, unprotected, and lacking basic comforts that he could have, had he wanted, provided her. With all this, Michelle dreamed it might work. She might not make him angry. She might make him happy. She failed, over and over, but she kept trying. She was beautiful in this way. In pictures of her, we see a beaming smile of someone who wanted to embrace life, and wanted it to embrace her. We see the love radiating from her to her daughter, and from her daughter to her. In that way of life, she is still with us. She is a reminder of what is beautiful, and she has a place in the hearts of all who knew her for that. She is not forgotten. But the person who decided her life was not worth living, and who violently ended it for his own purposes is not forgotten either. He sits for judgment in this courtroom today. Yes, he told his sister he hoped there would never be an arrest. He hoped all would forget Michelle, that all would find her not worth the effort to care about, just like he had. But he is wrong. His is the heart of the killer. And just as a normal person may never understand the mind of a killer, so a killer cannot understand what really drives a decent person to right an injustice. We value life. The killer does not. We will stand in light for the victims. The killer knows only dark. It was darkness indeed that set the stage for the last night Michelle would ever know. As she settled in for sleep, having put her daughter to bed in their cold house, her husband was not preparing to sleep. As she moved and acted as a normal person would, her husband moved with a different purpose, one meant to deceive, to disguise. He purposefully defeated his hotel room lock, preventing the room doorkey from recording when he would return. Yes, he told a story at trial why, but that story smells of the desperation of a lie. He would leave his room unlocked, on that night only, so as to travel downstairs and smoke in freezing cold and blustering wind? He could have closed the door, and if he were innocent so this case, and then recorded his alleged but false return to his room that night. His journey continued downstairs where surveillance cameras caught him now dressed in a dark outfit. In this outfit he departed the emergency door, which he propped open, again defeating the hotel security system that would have recorded his return. Around this time, the camera monitoring the stairs in front of that door, and only that door, went dark. Someone had unplugged that camera. Someone did not want to be seen in that stairwell. Someone who did not want the hotel to be able to tell his movements. JY defeated the two door systems, and he defeated that camera. By this time, Michelle was likely in bed, sleeping or preparing for that, knowing she was alone, that her husband who had been so angry earlier that he had thrown a remote control at her, was far away. Her husband though was on his way back to her. As he had done so many times in the past, he had lied to her about his intentions. It must have been easy now, the lying, he had done it so much to so many people. He was good at it, and often he was good enough that his lying fooled the people around him, even his wife. In his dark outfit, Jason Young came to his house. No longer wearing the pretense of caring about anyone else. In the night, he could come to his dark purpose with full intent. He had attacked a woman before, sure, but that was small potatoes. Bruised ribs, some throwing around, but that was just for a ring. What was to come was for much more. Freedom. Freedom from the burdens Michelle represented. Freedom from her scolding, her complaining. Freedom from having to hide his desire to have sex with any woman who would. Freedom from the financial obligations Michelle represented. He would have his life back from the woman he loathed for taking it from him. An eye for an eye. He had restrained himself before with women who had thought themselves good enough to insult him or impede him. But they had never treated him like Michelle had. They had never been in a position to ruin him financially for eighteen long years to come. There was only one way out of this, and it was her own fault it had to be this way. Jason Young was ready. He had had the thought to disable Michelle with a blow to the head, and then strangle her. This was, in its way, a mercy she didn’t deserve. A quick death, and in the end everyone dies. He searched it on his computer. He contemplated it. He even increased the reward he might reap, upping the life insurance on young Michelle to two and possibly four million dollars. And he surely knew he could do it. He knew his power, and he knew what he could do if he released it. This night the accounts would be balanced. A life for a life. His back, for hers taken. He entered the home. No forced entry. The broken garage door could support his alibi later. He made his way quietly upstairs. We will never know if he thought of turning back. We only know he did not. He stood over Michelle, and struck a blow on her, on her sleeping head. He strangled her. He beat her without mercy. He beat her beyond the comprehension of his daughter, who could only verbalize it as spanking. She was not knocked out right away. She flailed at her own neck, she flailed trying to protect her head. Goddamn Michelle again, messing everything up. He had told her he could kill her, and damn she deserved it. There was no choice now but to let her have it all. If she was going to fight, then damn it she gets what she gets. With a large object taken from the home after the killer cleaned up, Michelle’s face and head was beaten. Over and over. Again and again. It is difficult to tell how many times. There is testimony it must have been over thirty blows. Her jaw broke through her face, her skull cracked, her brain bled, her teeth were ejected into her throat and into the room. Her blood poured from her body onto the bed, onto the carpet, and flew onto the walls. This was no fight. It was nothing but murder against a defenseless wife. But it was Michelle’s fault. Michelle’s for biting? Michelle’s for constantly hemming Jason in, constantly making his life miserable? All of it. It was her choice to be that way. Really, in his mind, he didn’t have a choice. But the struggle that took longer than expected had an unintended result. Their daughter stood at the door, and she had seen at least some of this spanking. This was unfortunate, but this could be fixed. In some order, the killer accessed his closet, cleaned himself up, and cleaned his daughter up and calmed her before she returned to bed. The killer packed up everything he had brought, weapons, shoes, bloody clean up clothes, and who knows. Comfortable enough in the home to do his cleaning up there. He did a good job, maybe a great job, the way someone who lives in lies could. The job was good enough that bloody footprints that were left upstairs were not found even once downstairs. Only what was left upstairs, near the murder, tells us who was there. The liar always has the advantage. The liar uses trust, the human desire not to believe the worst, and the healing power of time as weapons against the truth. Such is this case. There are no perfect cases, and there never are all the answers to a horrible crime like this. This case has its own unknown. Size ten Franklin shoeprints in Michelle’s blood. Jason wants you to focus on this and only this because this is not his size shoe. He wants you think this means he wasn’t there. He wants you to believe his lie. Sorry Jason. You are a talented liar, but not a perfect one. You were caught sneaking out of the hotel. You didn’t plan on that. And you were caught at home. You didn’t plan on that either. You left footprints right at the scene. Size 12 orbitals. A very rare shoe Jason, in this case we appreciate your taste, your having owned them, something you surely thought would not be known. A shoe so damning you’ve been reduced to telling this jury your murdered wife, who it so happens can’t testify, gave them away and well perhaps the murderer had a knock off pair with an identical sole, all the way from China. Spin the lies, Jason. Leaving your room open so you won’t bother other hotel patrons. Propping the emergency door open with a twig. Just unlucky the camera was unplugged then and in the morning around the time you returned pushed up. Your failure to show up in the breakfast area footage that should have shown you there, had you been telling the truth. Just so unlucky. Or so guilty. The footprints of your shoes are at the scene. They are at the scene. This damns you, unless you can sell your story that your murdered wife happened to give those shoes, of all the pairs you owned, away just before she was murdered by someone wearing the exact same size and sole shoe. Do you suggest there were two killers there Jason? Someone else in those Franklins? Someone who stood beside you in your size twelve orbitals. Maybe so. Maybe so. Maybe you brought the Franklins to support your lies. We don’t know that. We just know you snuck away from your hotel, full of hate for you wife, and you showed up at your home, and she was murdered, and you fled the scene and disposed of the evidence. Yes, the evidence. Jason’s truck was seized. His mother had testified he had taken nothing from it other than what he was wearing. And what he was wearing was not the dark outfit he wore leaving the hotel. That was gone from his truck. Like the size twelve orbitals, those clothes were gone. Jason’s mother is not lying. Jason took nothing from his truck after he reached his house. He threw away the evidence before he got there. That is why those things were not in his truck. While he was throwing away the clothes he wore leaving the hotel, did he also throw away the murder weapon, CY’s diaper, and anything else that was taken from the upstairs so as to leave no evidence downstairs. Of course he did. He wanted everything from midnight of the murder until he was back in Virginia to disappear. It did not though Jason. It did not disappear. When you showed up late to your meeting the next morning, with twenty eight calls to your mother, with calls to your mistress, you must have been sweating. You needed Meredith to get over there and get the scene discovered and find CY. You used as your excuse the completely cynical excuse that you did not want your wife to find an ebay print out that you could have taken the night before, so as to avoid ruining a surprise that you might buy her the purse for an anniversary that was well past. Yes the same anniversary you sent your wife a card from the room you were staying in with your mistress. Lies. The anniversary dinner you ruined by talking to a coworker, you told the jury before, but really you were on the phone with your mistress. Lies. You put on the mask of a caring husband now to cover yourself and expect it to be believed. You needed the scene to be discovered while you were well clear, and it was. You made Meredith find her sister, murdered. Cold and covered in blood. You made her find your daughter, who named only you when Meredith asked what happened to Mommy. A fluke Meredith called it, one of so many “flukes” you want to explain away what you did. Yes, you came back to Raleigh, but you did not come to your home. You did not even come straight to your daughter. You even stopped to eat, knowing your wife had been murdered and your daughter left at the scene. You can pretend to care, you can pretend to love, but eventually your act always comes up short. No one forgot Jason. Sorry. No one forgot. You wanted to “move on” right away. You lamented the hit you would take selling the house as your wife lay cold in the funeral home next to you. But other busy bodies wanted Michelle’s murder solved. They actually thought it was worth investigating, something you were very plain you had no interest in. Find your wife’s killer? Uh no, let’s just move on. You murdered your wife Jason. You did it in the dark. You snuck in and you snuck out. The way of a coward. You are in the light now. The wheels of justice grind exceeding fine, and though slow, they move. The truth has found you, right here, today, and you are to account for your actions. Michelle will never see her daughter blow out a birthday candle. She will never hold her daughter when she is sick. She will never be there when her daughter is sad or afraid. She can never comfort her. She will never cry with happiness when her daughter finds love. Her baby boy will never look on the world with wondering eyes. He will never feel his mother’s comforting hands around him. How could you think she was worthless Jason? How could you? Michelle’s life ended in terror, in pain, in betrayal. Your idea for conspiracy was that society would go along. Michelle was nothing. Who would care after a bit of time? We still do Jason. We still do. We were not there to hear the blows you rained down on Michelle, the thudding, the tearing, the cracking, the final throes of life, but we hear their echoes. Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, none of us can go back in time and warn Michelle. We cannot save her. Her life was torn from her and we can do nothing to bring her back. Her loss is forever. But when you deliberate, give yourself a moment alone. Listen. Listen to a still small voice that remains from that night of violence. See her in your heart. Taking her life was the most terrible sin against her, and an affront to all who love justice. Only your voice is left to speak for her. Jason Young is guilty of murder. Speak this truth. End the lies that leave a shadow over the grave of Michelle Young, just as they did her hopes when she was still with us. Do not be distracted by a practiced liar. Look at all the evidence. Let yourself not be diverted by practiced excuses or implausible stories and coincidences. Look at all the evidence, and though the killer tried with his best talent to keep the truth from you, you will know it. Do not let all his lies blend together; remember they are all told for a reason, always told to hide the truth. To hide these truths. Jason Young was the only person who thought Michelle was worth nothing, who treated her like dirt. He was the only one to gain, his freedom and he hoped after time millions of dollars. It was Jason Young who was found sneaking into the night from his hotel. It was Jason’s Young’s shoes at the scene. It was Jason Young who was mentioned by his daughter when asked what happened. It was Jason Young who gave up his daughter rather testify or spend precious money. It was Jason Young who conceded to the title of Slayer when he could have contested it. It was Jason Young who threw away his dark outfit, like he hoped to throw away Michelle’s existence. We have named you Jason Young. You are the murderer of your wife. Ladies and Gentlemen, your duty is no doubt difficult, as it must be for those who care about justice. But do not shirk; right this injustice. Give the only light left we can to the life of Michelle Young. Bring her killer, her betrayer, to justice. Erase the long stain of lies with one simple statement of truth. Find the slayer, Jason Lynn Young, guilty.