Wake judge declares mistrial in Oakwood home invasion trial
Posted March 17, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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.