Local News

State: Home invasion suspect blamed 'figment of imagination'

Posted March 27

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— The defense attorney for a Raleigh man on trial for a series of burglaries and violent home invasions in 2012 and 2013 told jurors during closing arguments Thursday that there was no eyewitnesses, no DNA and no fingerprints to connect his client to the crimes and that they could not beyond a reasonable doubt find him guilty.

But Wake County Assistant District Attorney Boz Zellinger said the defense's case is "so stretched," that the defendant, Jahaad Marshall, implicated a fictional person called "B.J." – who just happened to have the same initials as Marshall's nickname "Black Jack" – because there was no way to escape the "overwhelming evidence" that connects him to the cases.

Marshall, 27, faces nearly two dozen charges – including attempted first-degree murder, first-degree sexual offense, attempted rape and first-degree burglary – in the four cases, including one on Jan. 7, 2013, in which a woman was sexually assaulted and her husband was shot in the spine in their home in Raleigh's historic Oakwood neighborhood.

"Considering the severity of these charges, if 'B.J.' wasn't a figment of Jahaad Marshall's imagination, he would have been brought in here," Zellinger said. "They would have brought him in here to point the finger at him. Instead, no, 'Let's just invent a guy and say that he did everything, and try to jump in to where the believable evidence was.'"

Attorney Deonte Thomas never mentioned "B.J." during his 40-minute closing argument, nor did he refer to any other aspect of his client's two-hour testimony from Wednesday when Thomas repeatedly asked the judge to remove him from the case because he knew his client would lie on the witness stand.

Against his attorney's advice, Marshall testified that he only drove the getaway car used in the Oakwood invasion and that he had nothing to do with the shooting, sexual assault or robbery that occurred inside the house.

Police arrested Marshall and his 17-year-old brother a short time later following a high-speed chase and found two guns on the side of a road that investigators say were used in the crime.

Those weapons, as well as items found in Marshall's 1988 Cadillac and a hotel room where the brothers were staying, eventually connected them to two burglaries and another violent home invasion on Dec. 30, 2012, in which a married couple was held at gunpoint, robbed and then left handcuffed to their bed.

The Oakwood case was the most violent. The male victim, Jason Beyer, tackled one of the assailants and fought them both so that his wife could escape. She was at a neighbor's house when she heard gunfire.

"The truth doesn't go away in this case. Jason Beyer gave up his legs to save his wife. It's indescribable to describe how much he lost that morning, how much (his wife) lost that morning," Zellinger said.

"There's no doubt about who committed this crime," he went on to say. "There's no doubt about the identity."

Jurors deliberated more than two hours Thursday afternoon before being dismissed for the day. They were expected to return to court Friday morning.

33 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • mrschizzy Mar 28, 3:11 p.m.

    DSalter - the prosecutor wasn't referring to what happened to the victims as a figment of their imagination. They are saying that the defendant who blamed this unknown man named "BJ" that this "BJ" character is a figment of the defendants imagination.

  • golorealist Mar 28, 1:40 p.m.

    re: homeowner's using guns for defense vs homeowner's guns being used against them -

    i read a heck of a lot more stories about homeowners successfully defending their homes with guns than i do about homeowners having their guns used against them. hyperbole and anecdotal evidence is nice when you're working with figments of imaginations, but they don't hold up very well in the real world.

  • nicolle Mar 28, 1:37 p.m.

    no eye witnesses? how about the victims?

    — Posted by golorealist

    My thoughts exactly. To say it's an insult to the victims is an understatement.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Mar 28, 1:15 p.m.

    "State: Home invasion suspect blamed 'figment of imagination'"

    Geez, how convenient for him.
    pfffttt
    Life in prison, with no possibility of parole.
    PERIOD!!!

  • Dnut Mar 28, 11:48 a.m.

    innocent bystander 3 Mar 28, 11:37 a.m.
    "That was a different robbery, and the former poster made it sound like, this particular robbery that the victims had a firearm and it was TAKEN from them, which is NOT true."-DNUT

    True. It was the previous homeowner whose own guns were taken and used against them in that robbery. And also used against the Beyers. Point being, the homeowners having guns not only failed to prevent the crimes, it actually facilitated them.

    A dog would have been better, as one of these criminals actually told his victim, if you read the story. A criminal can't take your own dog and turn it against you.
    >>>Untrained homeowner, or they got snuck! But studies show more than not, a firearm is usally the best method of defending you and your home.

  • Dnut Mar 28, 11:42 a.m.

    innocent bystander 3 Mar 28, 11:17 a.m.
    BOTH of their previous victims had guns, which is where these two criminals got them in the first place.
    >>>But YOU don't know the circumstances, did they TAKE it from the former victims while in defense of themselves? Did the perps BRING a firearm/firearms originally, overtake the victims and then take there firearms.....questions you should ask before stating something that makes people think that firearms are not reliable for self defense. Just sayin'''

  • innocent bystander 3 Mar 28, 11:37 a.m.

    "That was a different robbery, and the former poster made it sound like, this particular robbery that the victims had a firearm and it was TAKEN from them, which is NOT true."-DNUT

    True. It was the previous homeowner whose own guns were taken and used against them in that robbery. And also used against the Beyers. Point being, the homeowners having guns not only failed to prevent the crimes, it actually facilitated them.

    A dog would have been better, as one of these criminals actually told his victim, if you read the story. A criminal can't take your own dog and turn it against you.

  • twhit344 Mar 28, 11:36 a.m.

    Hang them in the middle of downtown Raleigh. Maybe that would deter or make animals like this think before they do these things.

  • innocent bystander 3 Mar 28, 11:17 a.m.

    The reason they committed multiple offenses? Because no one had a weapon to stop them the first... View More

    — Posted by virtualbiblestudy

    From a previous story:

    "The woman managed to escape – sprinting to a next-door neighbor's home for help, and as she reached the steps of the neighbor's home, she heard the gunshot that hit her husband in his spine. Police later found the .25 Raven – from Lovick's house – and a black .380 Llama stolen during a Dec. 26, 2012, burglary at a home on Hatton Way. The suspects used both weapons in the Oakwood case, Zellinger said. The stun gun, which was used on both couples, was stolen from the first burglary on Toccopola Street – also on Dec. 26, 2012."

    BOTH of their previous victims had guns, which is where these two criminals got them in the first place.

  • rickandlinda88 Mar 28, 11:17 a.m.

    the defense lawyer has done all he can to assure that he can appeal this trial/verdict.also he is trying to prepare the way for a mistrial for this guy's brother.if he by whatever means necessary can get jurys to not sentence these 2 animals to death,then he has won..

More...