Murder suspect Isiah Greene’s retrial begins
Here we go again.
Fifteen months ago after Isiah Greene’s murder trial ended in a hung jury, Mercer County prosecutors Thursday made good on their promise to retry the suspected killer in a court of law.
Greene is the alleged gunman charged with the July 2013 murder of 24-year-old city man Quaadir “Ace” Gurley. The slaying occurred in the courtyard of Trenton’s Donnelly Homes housing complex in the early morning hours of July 21, 2013.
Police arrested a then-20-year-old Greene on Nov. 18, 2013, in connection with the murder of Gurley. When the case finally went to trial nearly two years later, a jury heard many hours of testimony over a two-week period but could not render a verdict, prompting a judge to declare a mistrial on Oct. 16, 2015.
“We’re trying him again,” Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Jim Scott said at the time. “I think we have a strong case.”
When Greene’s second murder trial opened on Thursday, Assistant Prosecutors Scott and Daniel Matos worked in tandem in an attempt to paint the defendant guilty as charged while defense attorney Mark Fury gave measured remarks intended to introduce reasonable doubt into the minds of the jurors.
The 15-member jury in Green’s retrial is composed of 11 women and four men. The state Superior Court judge presiding over the case, Anthony Massi, told the jurors they are prohibited from reading about the case in the press. He also told them they must not communicate with anyone about the murder trial in any form, including social media, text messages or email.
Four witnesses testified at the retrial on Thursday: Mercer County Medical Examiner Dr. Raafat Ahmad; Gurley’s fiancée Dana Washington; eyewitness Lalisa Thompson; and Trenton Police Detective Maricelis Rosa-Delgado, who was the primary crime-scene investigator who had responded to the fatal shooting of Gurley.
Gurley lived a street-tough life, but his fiancée testified to his softer side as a family man. Washington later told The Trentonian about how Gurley is missed by his loved ones. In addition to being engaged to Washington, Gurley also had five children.
Washington is the mother of two of Gurley’s children, both of whom are girls who were ages 1 and 6 when their father was gunned down in cold blood. The daughters are now ages 5 and 10.
The July 2013 shooting littered spent shell casings outside 101 Rossell Ave. and blood stains along a nearby sidewalk. The incident quickly turned into a homicide when on-duty Detective Rosa-Delgado arrived on the scene in the pre-dawn hours. She took photographs at the crime scene from about 2 a.m. when it was dark up to 6 a.m. after the sun had risen on that fair-weather summer day.
Rosa-Delgado took to the witness stand on Thursday and testified as a factual witness, not an expert. The prosecutors meticulously questioned her about her crime-scene investigation into the murder of Gurley and displayed several of her photographs on a projector screen depicting evidence of the shooting.
After a long day of opening statements and witness testimony, Judge Massi recessed the trial at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The retrial for Greene, now 23, is scheduled to recommence 9:15 a.m. next Tuesday with Rosa-Delgado expected to resume her testimony.