Local News

Wake judge declares mistrial in Oakwood home invasion trial

Posted March 17, 2014

Jahaad Tariem Allah Marshall, 27, enters a Wake County courtroom on March 17, 2014, to stand trial in a series of home invasions in Raleigh in 2012 and 2013. A judge, however, later declared a mistrial in the case.

— Thirty minutes into opening statements Monday, a Wake County judge declared a mistrial in the joint case of two Raleigh brothers accused in a series of home invasions because a defense attorney implicated one of the defendants in two of the crimes.

Shabar Marshall Plea deal falls apart for Raleigh home invasion suspect

Jahaad Tariem Allah Marshall, 27, and Shabar Master Marshall, 17, were arrested following a Jan. 7, 2013, home invasion in Raleigh's Oakwood district and were later connected to three other similar cases – two on Dec. 26, 2012, and one on Dec. 30, 2012.

Each brother faced the same charges, but Shabar Marshall pleaded guilty earlier this month in the Dec. 30, 2012, case at a home on Sherry Drive and to the final crime on East Lane Street.

During opening statements for Shabar Marshall's defense, attorney George Kelly told jurors that his client, along with his brother, were guilty of the crimes.

That prompted Jahaad Marshall's attorney, Deonte Thomas – who minutes earlier said there was no evidence against his client – to object and move for an immediate mistrial.

After legal arguments and some discussion, Superior Court Judge Henry Hight granted Thomas' request, finding that Kelly's statement "created undue prejudice" against Jahaad Marshall.

Jury selection will begin Tuesday in a new trial for Jahaad Marshall. Shabar Marshall will be tried at a later date.

During the prosecution's opening statement, Wake County Assistant District Attorney Boz Zellinger told jurors that both men were responsible for the home invasions and that stolen guns from two of them linked the suspects to Oakwood case, which ended with the male resident paralyzed after being shot in the spine and his wife sexually assaulted.

"You're going to hear about these armed robberies, these home invasions and the nightmares for these folks that were involved and the shattered lives that were left in Jahaad and Shabar Marshall's wake," Zellinger said.

The couple awoke to the brothers in their bedroom around 3 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2013, and were forced to lie face-down on the floor while the men ransacked the house, Zellinger said.

Instead of leaving, he added, they then separated the couple and sexually assaulted the wife, who was later able to escape while her husband fought the two men.

The Sherry Drive home invasion was similar.

Zellinger said the husband and wife in that case awoke to a gun at the husband's chin and that the one of the defendants held the wife at gunpoint while she led him through her home looking for money.

The Marshall brothers, Zellinger said, then handcuffed them to their bed before escaping.

It was a gun taken from that crime that was among two tossed out of the car during a police chase that reached speeds up to 90 mph, Zellinger added.

The brothers were eventually indicted on nearly two dozen charges in the case, including first-degree burglary, first-degree kidnapping, robbery, first-degree sex offense, attempted first-degree rape and attempted first-degree murder.

Shabar Marshall – already serving eight to 12 years in prison after being convicted in November of a similar crime – pleaded guilty March 5 to 15 of 21 charges and faces a minimum of 154 years in prison for the charges he pleaded guilty to last week.

He will be sentenced following his trial on the remaining charges. A trial date has not been scheduled.


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  • carlomontenegro1 Mar 18, 2014

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    Really? The Defense Attorney said his client pled guilty to what he was guilty of, and not guilty of the remaining charges, hence the TRIAL. He said the evidence would show that the co-Defendant was guilty of the present charges, thereby prejudicing the co-Defendant's defense. But what do I know, after 40 years of doing this?

  • Chad Hines Mar 18, 2014
    user avatar

    SCTECH, I don't care what the news reporter said, as my 40 years trying murder cases tells me this was the DA's fault 100%.

    Pretty obvious you are not an attorney. I have no idea how the prosecutor could have been responsible for a defense attorney stating his own client is guilty.

  • iamarmed Mar 18, 2014

    this is why the "Justice System" is a joke.....really !!!!! if his brother plead guilty to the same crime he is charged with, then it should be used against him.....

  • carlomontenegro1 Mar 18, 2014

    SCTECH, I don't care what the news reporter said, as my 40 years trying murder cases tells me this was the DA's fault 100%. The Defense Attorney already plead his client in to most charges and then objected to the joinder. He did exactly what he needed to do.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Mar 18, 2014

    If it wasn't for quick police work, there would have been yet *another* illegal gun on our streets.

  • Chad Hines Mar 18, 2014
    user avatar

    A rookie mistake by the young prosecutor.
    Reading is fundamental folks. The defense attorney made the 'rookie' mistake not the prosecutor.

  • carlomontenegro1 Mar 17, 2014

    A rookie mistake by the young prosecutor. He knew what the one brother's story was because the guy had recently pled Guilty to many of these charges. You have to know that co-defendants in this situation cannot be joined for trial. Oh well, the State gets a do-over starting tomorrow.

  • JAT Mar 17, 2014

    the judge had no choice. to be assumed innocent, you can't very well have an attorney get up and say you did it. they shouldn't have tried to try them together in the first place once the younger one pled guilty to some of the charges. if the judge had continued on, there would have been an immediate appeal based on what the attorney said, meaning a total waste of time and money.

  • Tim Pearce Mar 17, 2014
    user avatar

    What Judge was this ??????

  • EliteOne Mar 17, 2014

    "Everyone, make sure you use your Second Amendment right when a Home Invasion occurs, maybe fewer fine NC Citizens like these will rob people."

    They stole guns from a 2nd amendment using homeowner... then used those guns for future robberies (and shot a victim).