Murder on Birchleaf Drive: The True Story of the Michelle Young Murder Case



Was Jason the monster who bludgeoned his beautiful wife to death, leaving his toddler alone for hours to walk through her blood? If so--would he get away with it?

To the outside world, Jason and Michelle Young lived a storybook life--an attractive couple with great jobs, a beautiful home, a precocious two-year-old daughter, and a baby boy on the way.

Soon after the 29-year-old pregnant mother's brutally beaten body was discovered on their bedroom floor, a very different picture emerged. Of a marriage crumbling at its foundation. Of a meddlesome New York mother-in-law whose running critique left Jason frustrated and angry. Of a 32-year-old man who behaved like a frat boy rebelling against adult responsibilities.

MURDER ON BIRCHLEAF DRIVE documents the gripping tale of a family's marathon quest for justice, confounding crime scene evidence, persistence of law enforcement officers, and riveting courtroom combat.

Product Details

Black Lyon Publishing
Publish Date
June 01, 2019
5.0 X 0.8 X 7.99 inches | 0.86 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Steven B. Epstein, a litigation partner at Poyner Spruill LLP, has been practicing law for nearly 30 years. He has tried many jury and non-jury trials in courtrooms throughout North Carolina and has argued numerous appeals. Since 2015, Epstein's legal practice has focused primarily on divorce and family law. He lives in Raleigh with his wife and children who, one by one, are leaving the nest.


"A compelling and accurate description of a fascinating murder case, from the initial investigation through the twists and turns of two trials, and all the strategic decisions in between. One of the best true crime books I have read. Very entertaining." --David S. Rudolf, defense attorney for Michael Peterson, featured in the Netflix series "The Staircase"

"Psychological thriller meets true crime story at its best! ... A riveting account of what, at first blush, appears to be a boy-meets-girl romance but ends in bloody horror. Epstein brilliantly details the unraveling of the couple's relationship and eloquently captures the legal details... Prepare yourself for an intense, heart-pounding read!" --Dr. Jean G. Spaulding, Forensic Psychiatrist and Associate Consulting Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University

"An amazing first book, by a talented new author, MURDER ON BIRCHLEAF DRIVE drops the reader into the complex web and dark beauty of the criminal justice system. Epstein skillfully recounts a chilling tale of human emotion, betrayal, and calculated murder. This story cannot be matched by the best of crime fiction--its power unleashed by the haunting reality of truth." -- Joseph B. Cheshire, V, criminal defense attorney whose successful representation of Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of sexual assault received national acclaim

"Steve Epstein's debut effort is an outstanding achievement in true crime writing ... This is a must-read for anyone interested in seeing our criminal justice system at work." -- Hon. Barbara Jackson, Associate Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court, 2011-2019; Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals, 2005-2011

"This fascinating and well-told story of a North Carolina murder and the trials that followed has more twists and turns than the road to Murphy. Clear your schedule and settle down for a long evening with some of the state's best trial attorneys." -- Hon. Robert H. Edmunds, Jr., Associate Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court, 2001-2017; Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals, 1999-2001; U.S. Attorney, Middle District of North Carolina, 1986-1993

"... a gripping story that captures the true essence of a bizarre 'who done it' murder investigation and prosecution, with remarkable insights and thoughtful analysis ... A great read, and a must- read, for those who are fascinated with the drama of real life--it's even better than fiction." --Colon Willoughby, District Attorney of Wake County, North Carolina, 1987-2014

"Reading MURDER ON BIRCHLEAF DRIVE is like being at the scene of the crime and inside the well of the
courtroom during every moment of one of North Carolina's most notorious murder trials. Epstein does an exceptional job with the challenging task of describing how it feels to be there as law enforcement cracks a case and when great lawyers go to battle." --Ripley Rand, U.S. Attorney, Middle District of North Carolina, 2011-2017;
Superior Court Judge, 2002-2010

"There is no way to put this book down!" --Stacie Overman, co-star of SyFy's "Ghost Mine," author of ANGEL KISSES: NO MORE CANCER

"...[This book] should make the reader appreciate the tenacity those involved in criminal prosecution must display if justice is to truly be done on behalf of victims. An excellent book, and I recommend it highly." --Jerry Boyd, Coronado, CA Police Chief (ret.); author of FIRESTONE PARK: POLICING SOUTH-CENTRAL LOS ANGELES and MY YEARS AS A CHIEF