Michelle Young's Murder: Retrial for Husband Charged With Killing Her Begins

PHOTO: Jason Young, who is accused of killing his pregnant wife, Michelle, has pleaded not guilty to the crime.
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The husband of a pregnant woman who was found beaten to death five years ago was back in a North Carolina courtroom Tuesday as jury selection began for his second murder trial in the case.

Jason Young, 37, faces first-degree murder charges in connection with the 2006 death of his wife, Michelle Young, in their Raleigh, N.C., home. Michelle Young was five months pregnant with their second child at the time of her death.

Jason Young has been free since July 2011, one month after the jury of 12 men and women ended the trial "hopelessly deadlocked" as the judge described it, with eight jurors voting for acquittal and four voting for conviction after three days of deliberation. A mistrial was declared.

Young had been behind bars since he was arrested in 2009, three years after his wife's death. He was released from jail in July 2011 after posting a $900,000 bond but now could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

The gruesome murder of Michelle Young shook the Raleigh community and shocked the couple's families and close-knit circle of friends, most of whom met while undergraduate students at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

The prosecution claims Young killed his wife in the couple's home on the night of Nov. 3, 2006, as the couple's daughter, Cassidy, who was 2 years old at the time, stood by. Michelle Young's sister, Meredith Fisher, found the 29-year-old face-down in a pool of blood in the couple's bedroom the next day.

Cassidy, the only witness in the case, was found unharmed and hiding beneath the covers of her parents' bed. Investigators testified they tracked her bloody footprints in the bedroom and into the adjacent bathroom.

In Young's original trial, prosecutors Becky Holt and David Saaks argued it was marital troubles that drove Young to kill his wife. They called on two women who said they'd had sexual relationships with Jason Young in the months leading up to the murder.

Young himself took the witness stand in his own defense to say he was working on his marriage and did not kill his wife. He testified he was away on a business trip in Hillsville, Va., and asleep in his hotel room when the murder happened, court records show.

Prosecutors argued that Young left his hotel just after midnight, drove the 160 miles from Hillsville to the couple's home in Raleigh, killed his wife and then drove back.

"The defendant had a plan. His plan was to murder his wife, and his plan was to get away with it," prosecutor Becky Holt told jurors in the first trial.

Michelle Young's mother testified that Young was a volatile husband who took away the "pep" and "energy" in her daughter. Young admitted to cheating on his wife and having explosive arguments with her but said the fights never got physical.

Prosecutors also alleged the couple was having serious financial problems and that Young was listed as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy that covered his wife, which was a potential motive for the murder.

Michelle Young's family was awarded $15.6 million in damages after winning a wrongful death lawsuit against Young in 2008, before his arrest, that barred him from receiving any life insurance money or assets from his wife's estate.

The couple's now nearly-7-year-old daughter was placed in the custody of Michelle Young's family after her father's arrest.

Young's lawyers have not said whether or not their client would testify again in his new trial.

Judge Don Stephens told potential jurors on Tuesday that the trial wouldn't begin until at least Feb. 6, according to local ABC affiliate ABC-11. It is expected to last four to six weeks once the presentation of evidence begins.

ABC News' Sarah Netter and Caila Klaiss contributed to this report.

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