Jury reaches 'guilty' verdict in 20 minutes in Marshall Jackson trial
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The murder trial of 30-year-old Marshall Jackson in Oneida County Court took five days, but it only took the jury 20 minutes of deliberating to reach its verdict.
Marshall was found guilty of the murder of 24-yea-old Anthony Garner of Utica, which took place shortly after midnight on May 25th of 2011 on James Street in Utica.
Video of the actual murder was captured on an M&M Deli surveillance camera and that video was played quite a few times for the jury during the trial which began on Monday.
The jury was handed the case at 11:15 a.m. Friday morning and at 11:35, they announced they had reached their verdict.
Jackson, a U.S. Army veteran, sat emotionless as the guilty verdict was read. He even shook his defense attorney's hand and thanked her as he was led away in handcuffs.
Defense Attorney Rebecca Whittman said after Friday's proceedings, "the jury saw the video about 15 times. They saw it early and saw it often, and if their thought was that there was nothing debatable on the video, there's nothing you can do."
The surveillance video showed Marshall Jackson and another male beat and kicked Garner, while a third person held him down. Then, you could see Marshall Jackson walk around Garner, and kick him when was down. At that point, the third suspect which was on top of Anthony Garner, physically grabbed him, lifted him up, then you see Marshall Jackson shoot Garner once in the side and then once in the head.
Whittman told the jury in her closing statement Friday morning that Jackson may have admitted on the stand that he fired the gun, be he did not intend to kill Garner, only to seriously injure him. That is why, before closing statements Friday morning, she asked Oneida County Court Judge Michael Dwyer to allow the jury to consider a lesser charge than murder in the second degree. That lesser charger, manslaughter in the first degree.
Judge Dwyer agreed, but the jury believed Jackson intended to kill Garner when he shot him, and found Jackson guilty of second degree murder.
Jackson was also found guilty of illegal possession of a weapon and possession of stolen property. That stolen property being the gun used to kill Garner.
A patrol car was close by in the neighborhood when the shooting took place. Officers testified they actually heard the gunshots, and within 10 seconds, those officers saw the defendant in this case, Marshall Jackson, running down James Street with the murder weapon, a 22 caliber pistol, in his hand.
During the trial, Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Joseph Saba told the jury, Anthony Garner was out celebrating his 24th birthday when he was literally chased down by three men on James Street, one of those men was Marshall Jackson.
So far, the other two suspects seen in the video have not been charged, although prosecutors believe they know who they are.
Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Joseph Saba say he couldn't comment on the pending investigation, "the only thing I can really comment on that is, there's a continuing investigation in this case, and that's all really I can say at this point on it."
He did add later in his interview with the media that, "during the trial we may have developed more information that may be useful down the road."
A number of the victim's family members were present in court Friday morning, including Anthony Garner's father, William Carter. As he was leaving the courtroom, Carter was asked if he felt justice was served.
He said, "yes. I would also like to say that it was a loss for both sides, cause our families are really close, but it was just the case that they didn't know each other, that's all I have to say."
Carter walked away so we did not get the chance to get his comment on his family possibly having to go through this type of jury trial two more times, if and when the other two men involved in his son's beating and subsequent shooting are caught and charged.
Marshall Jackson is expected to be sentenced in Oneida County Court on March 15th to the maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.