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Admitting to fatal Utica shooting, defendant says argument began over greeting

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Murder defendant Marshall Jackson is back in court this mornign. Jackson took the witness stand in his own defense on Thursday and did what most would expect the suspect in a shooting caught on surveillance video to do - he admitted it.

However, Jackson is hoping his reasons will still lead the jury to a verdict of "not guilty."

Among the revelations from defendant Jackson on Thursday - that he receives monthly SSI checks for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Jackson said he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2000 and completed three tours in Iraq, as a military police officer and bomb dog handler. He said that he was a Sergeant and team leader who saw many members of his team die horrible deaths and, as a result, had to see doctors at area V.A. hospitals for depression. Jackson also said he drank a lot once he returned stateside.

Jackson admitted to shooting victim Anthony Garner on James Street back in May, but suggested it was in self defense.

"When I seen him trying to reach for the gun, that's when I fired.....it was actually in the front on the waistband," Jackson said on the stand Thursday.

There was no evidence presented at trial that suggested Garner had a gun.

The prosecution further refuted that theory, using a video from a telephone poll surveillance camera which shows victim Garner running from Jackson and a few of Jackson's friends and relatives as Jackson chases after him, gun drawn.

"And at this point, Mr. Garner is running away from you, correct? He's retreating from you, correct?" asked Prosecutor Joseph Saba.

As for what started the argument between the group of men, Jackson claims it was Garner simply walking by the group on James Street, asking them, 'what's up' in a form of street slang.

"What were his words?" asked Saba.

"What's crackin'" said Jackson.

"What's crackin'? Is that like me saying to you, 'what's up, Marshall?'" asked Saba.

"Yes sir," said Jackson.

"So it's a greeting, correct?" asked Saba.

"Yes sir," replied Jackson.

"A friendly greeting, correct?" asked Saba.

"Yes sir," replied Jackson.

Testimony is complete. Friday morning, the attorneys will make closing arguments and the judge will then give the jury some instruction. Then, the jury will get the case, most likely late Friday morning or early Friday afternoon.

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