Raleigh Oakwood home invasion trial begins

Brothers accused of leaving man trying to protect his wife paralyzed by a gunshot to the back.
March 20, 2014 2:53:38 PM PDT
Opening statements began Thursday in the trial of two brothers accused of a home invasion style robbery in Raleigh's historic Oakwood neighborhood that left a man paralyzed.

Jahaad Marshall faces a host of charges in the January 2013 incident and four other home invasion style robberies going back to December 2012.

In his opening statement, Wake County Assistant District Attorney Boz Zellinger told jurors that Marshall and his brother shot Jason Beyer in the back as he attempted to prevent a sexual assault on his wife. Zellinger said Beyer had been ordered at gunpoint to lie on the floor, but he got up and struggled with one of the brothers.

"He makes that decision - enough is enough," said Zellinger.

Marshall was originally set to go on trial with his brother Shabar, but earlier this week a judge declared a mistrial and split the cases after Shabar pleaded guilty to some of the charges and Jahaad's attorney objected to them being tried at the same time.

Shabar Marshall - who was 16 at the time of the attack - has admitted to 15 total charges including first-degree sex offense and attempted murder in the Oakwood incident. He remains charged in the other home invasions. A plea deal on those remaining charges fell apart Tuesday when Zellinger withdrew a plea deal after Shabar attempted to enter an Alford Plea.

An Alford Plea means a person admits there's enough evidence to get a conviction, but does not admit guilt. Zellinger said the teen would have to admit to what he did.

Jahaad Marshall's attorney Deonte Thomas told jurors in his opening Thursday that his client was not responsible for the shooting and did not attempt to assault Beyer's wife.

"Shabar is the person who shot Jason," he said.

Twenty-seven-year-old Jahaad is charged with one count of first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, one count of attempted murder, one count of attempted first-degree rape and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Zellinger said the brothers stole the weapons used in the Oakwood attack during other robberies.

Joel Rocklin's Raleigh home was broken into weeks before the Oakwood home invasion. A black handgun was among numerous items stolen. Rochlin and his wife did not awaken during the incident.

Curtis Lovick and his wife weren't so lucky.

A couple of weeks later, they were confronted in the middle of the night by masked gunmen who demanded money. After being threatened and terrorized, Lovick told jurors there was a point when he was sure he was about to be executed.

"When he set us down on the bed and I saw the handcuffs, that was just, I mean I just took a deep breath and made my peace," said Lovick.

Lovick and his wife, however, were left unharmed.

Just over a week later, Jason Beyer and his wife at the Oakwood home weren't so lucky.

The prosecutor told jurors that Beyer was shot in the back when he jumped the two intruders who were assaulting his wife, but Jahaad Marshall's attorney told jurors it was Shabar who assaulted Beyer's wife and left Beyer paralyzed.

"Shabar was the person that shot Jason Beyer. What is pointing at Jahaad," asked Thomas.

There's a lot according to the prosecutor, who believes physical evidence and testimony from victims, especially the Oakwood victims, will point to Jahaad Marshall.

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