Local News

Raleigh man describes 'fight for life' during home invasion

Posted March 25

— A gunshot wound to the middle of a Raleigh man's back came close to being a fatal wound, with the bullet being lodged just centimeters from his heart, according to testimony Tuesday in the trial of one of the two men accused of shooting him during a home invasion early last year.

Jason Beyer, 35, had been hit in the tenth thoracic vertebra during a struggle with the two masked men who, minutes earlier, had sexually assaulted his wife in their home in the city's historic Oakwood neighborhood.

Worried for his wife and not about to let her be harmed further, Beyer testified Tuesday, he launched himself onto the taller of the two and wrestled him from the hallway of the home into the kitchen.

The second man – much shorter – then joined in the fight, giving Beyer's wife a chance to run to a neighbor's house for help.

"I'm fighting for my life at that point," Beyer told jurors in the trial of 27-year-old Jahaad Tariem Allah Marshall, recalling how he tried using the taller of the two men as a shield to protect himself.

The next thing Beyer knew, he had been shot.

"I felt the gun to my back," he said. "My legs went out, so I don't recall hearing the gunshot."

Marshall, who authorities say was the shorter of the two men, faces 23 charges – including attempted first-degree murder, sexual offense, burglary and kidnapping – in the Jan. 7, 2013, home invasion, as well as three other burglaries in the two weeks prior to Beyer's shooting.

Beyer remembered Tuesday being shocked and terrified and then seeing them climb with bags through an open window in the kitchen.

"They just kind of stepped over me," Beyer said. "They weren't too concerned with me at that point."

Worried they would return, Beyer said, he tried dragging himself across the kitchen floor to close the window, but he couldn't get up to close it. His breathing had also become labored.

Within moments, paramedics arrived and took him to WakeMed, where trauma surgeon Dr. Lori Lilley found significant blood in his left lung as well as bullet fragments.

"We knew right away he was paraplegic," Lilley testified. "Going to the (operating room) wasn't going to make him better."

Marshall and his 17-year-old brother, Shabar Marshall, were arrested the same morning following a chase – with speeds up to 80 mph – throughout southeast Raleigh.

Jahaad Marshall's defense attorney contends the state has no DNA, fingerprints or other physical evidence linking his client to the crimes and that no one could positively identify him as a suspect.

But the state says a neighbor's description helped police track the brothers' car, and police found Beyer's wallet 30 feet from Jahaad Marshall when they arrested him, and other items from the home were in the car.

Two guns stolen from two of the earlier burglaries were found along the route of the chase, and items stolen from the crimes were found in a hotel room where the Marshall brothers stayed.

The Oakwood home invasion was also similar to one eight days earlier on Sherry Drive in which a man awoke to two masked men in his bedroom. They stunned him and his wife with a stun gun, forced them to lie face-down on the floor and moved them around the home at gunpoint looking for cash and other valuables.

Similar to Beyer’s testimony, the victims in that case said the men became increasingly frustrated when they learned there was not much to take.

Beyer said Tuesday that he was compliant in an effort to get the men to leave as quickly as possible.

"Giving things away wasn't an issue – whatever could get them to leave sooner," he said.

But there was one item he wasn't willing to give up, he said.

"At some point, when I was on the floor when no one was looking, I slipped (my wedding ring) off my hand and put it into the laundry next to me," Beyer said. "It was the one sentimental piece I was hoping to keep."

18 Comments

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  • violaharris39 Mar 27, 3:16 p.m.

    It's a sad day when people can't be safe in their own home. Times are hard for everybody and no one should feel they can take from others to satisfy their own needs. I pray strength for all of the victims. I pray for the home invaders who need Jesus.

  • EricaSliver Mar 26, 1:58 p.m.

    This is terrible...just horrific! I feel such anger at these two "men" for invading the lives of innocent people like that. The Beyers' lives are forever changed now... My thoughts are with the Beyers...may they some day be able to find peace.

  • ssi Mar 26, 12:51 p.m.

    " . . . Perhaps you could sleep with a .45 beneath your pillow. Most people would call that "paranoia." - OleNCNative

    I'd call it good planning.

    Remember, just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. :-)

  • Stuck in the snow Mar 26, 11:48 a.m.

    The best home defense is either a dog or an alarm. You need something to wake you up in a case like this. Having a gun while won't do you any good once they're already in your bedroom.

  • Mo Blues Mar 26, 11:35 a.m.

    Shotgun? How do you wield a shotgun to defend yourself? It takes both hands and arms, and even... View More

    — Posted by Mo Blues

    Since these people woke up with guns in their faces, I'm not sure having a weapon would have... View More

    — Posted by OleNCNative

    I sleep with a 9mm, not a .45. Caliber isn't the issue.

    The guys were sexually assaulting his wife and he had to attack them. There was lots of time that passed with these intruders in the house. If he had access to a firearm, he *may* have been able to stop the threat. Why don't you ask the victims in this case? I'll bet they wish they had been a bit more "paranoid."

    If someone is just going to come up to you and kill you, it really doesn't matter if you are armed or not. That said, I'll at least be prepared as best as I can. Call me paranoid. You won't be the first, and I don't care what you think.

  • tsquaring Mar 26, 11:31 a.m.

    I'm not a big supporter of putting ppl to death but in this case, I am. just sick.

    — Posted by toughtiger

    Diana, I agree.

  • OleNCNative Mar 26, 10:51 a.m.

    Shotgun? How do you wield a shotgun to defend yourself? It takes both hands and arms, and even... View More

    — Posted by Mo Blues

    Since these people woke up with guns in their faces, I'm not sure having a weapon would have worked in this case. Perhaps you could sleep with a .45 beneath your pillow. Most people would call that "paranoia."

  • jpilk81 Mar 26, 10:48 a.m.

    Neither one of these fellows will be in prison ten years from now.

  • diana123 Mar 26, 10:14 a.m.

    home invasions. i believe in killing anyone who does this. armed or not. you are facing your maker.

  • toughtiger Mar 26, 10:06 a.m.

    I'm not a big supporter of putting ppl to death but in this case, I am. just sick.

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