Jury begins deliberating on whether Isiah Greene murdered Trenton man
The fate of alleged killer Isiah Greene rests in the hands of 12 jurors who may determine whether he is guilty or not guilty of murdering 24-year-old Trenton man “Ace” Quaadir Gurley.
Greene, 23, of Trenton, is accused of possessing a handgun without a permit and using the weapon to shoot and kill Gurley at the city’s Donnelly Homes housing complex in the early morning hours of July 21, 2013.
Superior Court Judge Anthony Massi on Wednesday read instructions to the 12 main jurors and the three randomly selected alternates directing them on how to render a verdict in the case.
The state previously tried Greene on murder charges in an October 2015 trial that ended in a hung jury. The state brought the case to a retrial earlier this month in hopes of securing a conviction.
During the retrial, Mercer County Assistant Prosecutors Jim Scott and Daniel Matos have emphasized the evidence in the case of shell casings and blood stains and painted Greene as a murderer who has previously lied to police about where he was at when Gurley was gunned down. Prosecutors say Greene shot himself in the foot while shooting Gurley.
Greene’s defense attorney Mark Fury has questioned the integrity of the evidence in the case, suggesting authorities could have tampered with certain items and materials to make it appear as if Greene was responsible for Gurley’s death.
Greene took to the witness stand in his own defense earlier this week and said he did not shoot Gurley or himself. He also said he did not know Gurley but had heard of him. Gurley lived a street-tough lifestyle but was described by his fiancée Dana Washington as a caring father who leaves behind six children.
The state has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Greene purposely or knowingly caused Gurley’s death or that the defendant was aware his conduct would cause serious bodily injury that resulted in the victim’s death.
All 12 jurors must unanimously agree that the state beyond a reasonable doubt proved Greene murdered Gurley in order to convict the defendant on the murder charge. All 12 jurors must unanimously agree the state failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt to find Greene not guilty.
The other charges against Greene are possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a handgun. The state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Greene knowingly possessed a handgun for the unlawful purpose of shooting Gurley and that he knowingly possessed a handgun without obtaining a permit for the jury to convict Greene on the weapons offenses.
“You are expected to use your own commonsense,” Massi told the jurors Wednesday in delivering his instructions. “It is your duty as jurors to consult with one another.”
In further jury instructions, Massi told the jurors that “each of you must decide the case for yourself,” adding, “Don’t be afraid to change your opinion. … Please remember you are not partisans. You are judges of the facts.”
With Massi passing along the instructions, the jury deliberated for about an hour on Wednesday before going into recess without rendering a verdict. Jury deliberations will resume Thursday morning at the Mercer County Criminal Courthouse.