This article will describe how the State mistreated a witness in the Young case. Cindy Beaver’s testimony was key because she saw a vehicle leaving the Young residence at approximately 5:20AM, and an occupied work van a bit further down the road. This was a huge problem for the State because it went against their theory – that Jason was approaching Hillsville, VA at that time. So how did they deal with it? What I witnessed watching the trial was simply unbelievable. First, the SBI tried to intimidate her by repeatedly questioning her about what she saw that morning, grilling her about the dates/times and other details. It got so bad that she finally contacted them and said she had had enough. Then during the trial, ADA Cummings asked her an incorrect question five times, clearly trying to trip her up or attempting to mislead the jury about her statements to police. They didn’t stop there though. After that he asked her another very misleading and false question about the speed she was driving and whether or not she noticed any lights on at the home. Then to top it off they brought in her former boss to testify that she was “somewhat of a busybody”. Please watch the short video clips which capture all of this.
First, here is Cindy’s account of what she witnessed that morning:
Next is the testimony about the aggressive SBI questioning:
Then the prosecutor used an interesting tactic and repeatedly asked her the same misleading question. I believe ADA Cummings asked her four or five times ” Didn’t you tell police that the white van you saw must have been a substitute for the normal News & Observer driver”? She responded clearly that “If it was a News and Observer delivery van then it was not the normal carrier, but I’m unsure which carrier this was”. She told investigators to try to find the van driver to see what he saw that morning. Investigators were only focused on determining if the regular carrier was working that morning. Did they not even bother to try to find the driver of the white van?! I don’t recall any testimony about it. What was the purpose of asking the same (incorrect) question over and over? Was it to leave the impression with the jurors that Cindy was uncertain about something? If one wasn’t paying very close attention, they could easily have left with “Cindy was wrong about seeing an alternate N&O driver, therefore she must be wrong about everything”.
Finally, here is the misleading questioning about the speed she was traveling that morning:
Imagine witnessing something possibly related to a crime in your neighborhood, reporting it to police and having the SBI question and pressure you over and over about what you told them. How would you feel? Then you go to court and the prosecutor asks you an incorrect question repeatedly and then throws more incorrect information out there to try to contradict everything you’ve said all along, with a condescending tone I might add. Days later, you see a former supervisor on the stand testifying that you are a “busy body”. Would you ever feel inclined to contact police again about anything? We are supposed to be able to trust them, not get attacked for simply sharing information that may be helpful to solving the case. They really crossed the line.
What possible motivation did this witness have for lying? She didn’t know anyone involved. They are suggesting she did it for the attention, thus the “busybody” testimony. Does that make a bit of sense?! Did she seem like she came forward for attention? I don’t think so. She provided specific and important details about two vehicles near the Young home, neither of which could have been Jason Young. Remember too that she was hesitant to contact police to begin with because she wasn’t sure the information would be helpful. Then look at everything they put her through. It is unethical and unacceptable for anyone to be treated like this. Is this how cases are routinely prosecuted now in Wake county? Why are people okay with this? Clearly the investigators had a problem with her story. But shouldn’t that have been a huge signal to them that perhaps they were wrong about Jason Young’s involvement in this crime? After all, they had nothing – no evidence whatsoever connecting him to it. But no matter, they pursued the case against him anyhow and won a conviction by attacking witnesses, cooking up camera and door propping allegations at the Hampton Inn and presenting a brain damaged eyewitness who incorrectly described Jason. That’s how they won this case. How can anyone feel comfortable that justice was served? I certainly don’t. And seeing the mistreatment of this witness makes me question the entire investigation. I am very concerned about the Wake county judicial system. Someone really needs to look at this case and the Cooper case and I’m certain there are others. If this doesn’t concern you, understand that you could be next. They do not need evidence to win convictions and if there is evidence pointing away from a suspect, they do everything they can to ignore it, destroy it or discredit it.