Murder suspect Isiah Greene admits he previously lied to police
Alleged killer Isiah Greene testified in his own defense Tuesday, exposing himself to fierce cross-examination that forced him to admit that he had previously lied to police.
“You lied about being shot on Sanhican?” Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Jim Scott asked the defendant. “You lied about who shot you? You lied about where you got shot?”
“Yes,” Greene responded to all of the questions.
Greene, 23, is on trial on allegations he murdered 24-year-old city man “Ace” Quaadir Gurley in the early morning hours of July 21, 2013. Gurley died from multiple gunshot wounds at the Donnelly Homes housing complex in Trenton.
Greene himself suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his left foot at around the same time Gurley died.
In taking to the witness stand, Greene at his murder retrial on Tuesday confirmed he was shot at Donnelly Homes but said he had originally lied to the cops— falsely telling them he was shot in the area of Sanhican Drive — because he did not want to be called as a witness in the shooting that killed Gurley.
In the initial trial that ended in a hung jury, prosecutors said Greene shot himself in the foot while shooting Gurley. But Greene on Tuesday gave testimony under oath saying he did not shoot Gurley or himself.
Wearing a green long-sleeved T-shirt, black tie and black pants, Greene answered questions from his defense attorney Mark Fury and from Assistant Prosecutor Scott to provide his version of events leading up to the fatal shooting.
Greene said he spent much of the day of July 20, 2013, in the area of Sanhican Drive, where he lived nearby on West State Street. He was wearing a white T-shirt, white tank top, white shorts, white shoes and white socks that day and attended a memorial “All-White Affair” that evening on Highland Avenue that was honoring a person who had died.
Greene said he was hanging out with three friends — Court, Twan and Justin — and mentioned that they had all been drinking that night. He said he only knew Court and Twan by their nicknames and that he did not know Justin’s surname.
“If you don’t know someone’s legal name, it is hard (for police) to find them, right?” Scott asked as if to question the legitimacy of Greene’s testimony. Greene did not back away from his story.
The defendant and his three friends wanted to go to a Philadelphia nightclub that night, but they were all too intoxicated to drive and therefore had to search for a potential designated driver to take them to the City of Brotherly Love, Greene said.
Someone drove the group straight from Highland Avenue to Donnelly Homes — about a seven-minute trip, Greene testified. He said they wanted to get a sober Donnelly Homes resident known as Kaye or Kayson to drive them from the North Trenton housing complex to Philly.
Someone in the group called Kaye’s cellphone about 1 a.m. July 21, 2013, but he did not answer it. Greene got out of the car and was going to knock on Kaye’s front door, he said.
“I never made it to go knock on the door,” Greene added. He said he had heard gunshots. “I got on the ground and got low.”
Then Greene realized he had been shot, he said. When the shots stopped flying, he hopped back to the vehicle and got in the front passenger’s seat. He sat down in a puddle of juice on the car seat, causing his shirts to become stained, he said.
“I had never been shot before,” Greene said. “I said, ‘Take me to the hospital.’ They took me back to Sanhican.”
It was about 1:40 a.m. on Sanhican Drive when Greene falsely reported to police that he had been shot in that area. “I didn’t want to be a witness,” he said, explaining his reasoning for lying to the cops.
Greene was treated at Capital Health Regional Medical Center and released the next day.
Police arrested a then-20-year-old Greene on Nov. 18, 2013, charging him with murder. When police interviewed him that day, officers asked Greene how his blood ended up on Rossell Avenue at Donnelly Homes, and he responded, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Greene on Tuesday said he did not know Gurley but had “heard of him.” He even suggested that detectives put his DNA at specific locations at the murder scene “to bolster their story.”
“Mr. Greene, you told multiple lies to police on multiple occasions?” Scott asked the defendant.
“Yes,” Greene responded.
The criminal retrial is scheduled to resume 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Superior Court Judge Anthony Massi’s courtroom.