Murder suspect believed martians were out to get him, judge orders mental health evaluation

A judge ordered a mental status evaluation Tuesday for Jack Isabell, who is accused of shooting and killing 34-year-old Raheim Hayes.

I think Mr. Isabell is a very dangerous individual and obviously he has some mental issues,” Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Lewis Korngut said. “When he was arrested, he said something about the martians were coming after him or something to that effect.”

On April 9, a woman found Hayes inside a home on Smith Street suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Hayes was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that the home where Hayes was found is owned by Isabell’s brother, and that Isabell had been living in that residence “off and on” during the few months prior to his arrest. Prosecutors also said they believe Isabell shot Hayes while inside that home two days prior to Hayes’ body being found.

According to prosecutors in the case, Isabell was involved in two separate shootings on April 7: one that injured a 22-year-old male near the corner of Beatty and Smith streets, and the death of Raheim Hayes.

Prosecutors believe Isabell shot Hayes early that Monday morning during the course of a robbery that occurred inside Isabell’s brother’s home in the 200 block of Smith Street. Then later that day, Isabell allegedly shot another man; and the gun found at that crime scene matched evidence found inside Isabell’s brother’s home, according to prosecutors.

“The gun was later tested and it matched the shell casings found inside the Smith Street home linking Isabell to the homicide,” Korngut said.

Around 11 a.m. on April 7, police found a 22-year-old victim near the corner of Beatty and Smith streets suffering from gunshot wounds to his torso and right wrist. Prosecutors believe the victim was walking to the store to purchase milk, and that Isabell shot him for no apparent reason. Prosecutors say two black bags containing crack cocaine and a digital scale, two black jackets and a .380 caliber handgun were left at the scene, and that the gun matched the shell casings found inside the Smith Street home. Prosecutors also say there was property in those bags that belonged to Hayes.

“We believe those bags were taken from Mr. Hayes after Mr. Isabell killed him, and that Isabell dropped them at the scene of the second shooting,” Korngut said.

About two hours after the second shooting, police arrested Isabell after finding him shirtless in a city park located a few blocks away from the scene. Prosecutors say Isabell had injuries on both of his hands that were consistent with being in a physical altercation. He also had blood splatter on his pants and shoes, and that blood matched Hayes’ DNA, according to prosecutors.

At Tuesday’s bail hearing, attorneys on both sides of the case expressed concern about Isabell’s mental health.

“We have no opposition regarding the bail,” defense attorney Edward Belmont said. “We’re more interested in learning more about his mental health status.”

Isabell, 41, is charged with criminal attempt homicide, weapons offenses, cocaine possession, and related drug distribution offenses in connection with the second shooting that occurred April 7. He is charged with murder, felony murder, robbery and several weapons offenses in connection with Hayes’ death.

Isabell remains held on $250,000 cash bail in connection with the shooting of the 22-year-old. His bail in connection with murder is set at $1 million cash or bond.

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