Zaire Jackson’s murder trial approaches as Isiah Greene’s retrial lingers

Nearly five years ago, a then-17-year-old Zaire Jackson allegedly shot and killed a city man execution style.

Jackson, now 22, will finally have his day in court to defend himself before a jury of his peers.

Jury selection began Tuesday at the Mercer County Criminal Courthouse for Jackson’s imminent murder trial.

Jackson, a Trenton resident also known as “Philly” and “Cory,” is accused of shooting at 22-year-old Irvin “Swirv” Jackson in broad daylight and then chasing the victim down and fatally shooting him in the head April 9, 2012.

Irvin Jackson, who was not related to the defendant, died in a West Ward alleyway off North Hermitage Avenue.

Zaire Jackson has been charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Retired Superior Court Judge Andrew Smithson has been recalled to the bench to preside over Jackson’s trial.

Meanwhile, the murder retrial for alleged killer Isiah Greene remains in limbo as a jury on Tuesday indicated it was nowhere near reaching a verdict.

“At this time we are unable to reach a unanimous decision,” the 12-member jury said Tuesday afternoon in a written message read aloud by Superior Court Judge Anthony Massi.

With the jury at an impasse, Massi instructed the jurors to continue deliberating for the rest of the afternoon, reminding them that “each of you must decide the case for yourself” and that “you are not partisans; you are judges of the facts.”

Despite Massi’s motivational pep talk, the jurors remained at an impasse and the judge excused the jury for the day about 4 p.m. Tuesday and instructed them to return at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday for continued deliberations.

Like Zaire Jackson, Greene, 23, of Trenton, has been charged with murder and weapons offenses for a crime he allegedly committed when he was a teenager. Greene has been accused of shooting and killing 24-year-old city man “Ace” Quaadir Gurley at the city’s Donnelly Homes housing complex in the early morning hours of July 21, 2013.

Greene’s initial murder trial in October 2015 ended in a mistrial as 12 jurors failed to unanimously decide whether he was guilty or not guilty. His retrial could prove to be déjà vu.

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