ITHACA, N.Y. — After four days of deliberation, jurors have reached a partial verdict in the trial of Nagee Green, finding the defendant guilty on charges of assault.
It’s been nearly three weeks since opening statements for Green’s trial began, revealing details of a brawl at Cornell University which took a tragic turn last summer when 19-year-old Anthony Nazaire was fatally stabbed in the chest. Green was later accused of stabbing Nazaire and Rahiem Williams – who survived his injuries – three times in the back.
Judge John C. Rowley received a note from the jury late Monday afternoon that they had reached a decision finding Green guilty on the felony second-degree assault charge, but were deadlocked on further decisions in regards to the murder charge.
District Attorney Matthew Van Houten described the death of Nazaire a “tragedy” and a “murder,” during the trial, arguing that it was clear Green had intent to kill Nazaire after it was discovered that he was carrying a “military-style” knife on the night of the brawl.
However, Green’s attorney Joseph Joch argued that the “dots didn’t connect” within the details of the case when it was found that there were no eyewitnesses pinpointing Green as the stabber and the only DNA found on the knife belonged to Williams. Much of the evidence was presented through short, shaky Snapchat videos.
“In light of the fact that you have indicated that you’ve had the same position since Thursday, I will accept the closure that no further deliberation is going to change this,” Rowley said. While no further decisions were made on Monday, Rowley suggested the case may go to re-trial and dismissed the jury.
“It’s never expected that the jury will not reach a verdict,” said Van Houten afterward. “We are ready to try the case again and we believe the judge will give us a trial.”
Defense attorney Michael Perehinec also said it was unexpected that the jury would not reach a verdict, but remained hopeful of the possibility that the case could reach dismissal upon post-trial motions.
“We are disappointed with the assault charge, but I think a hung jury is indicative of the evidence in the case,” he said.
A conference between the two parties and Judge Rowley is scheduled for July 21, when the case and potential re-trial dates will be further discussed.
This is a developing story.
Featured image: From left, defense attorney Michael Perehinec sits beside defendant Nagee Green. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice
Editor’s note: Attorney Michael Perehinec is on The Ithaca Voice Board of Directors. We do not feel that this has influenced our coverage. Please contact Managing Editor Jolene Almendarez at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or concerns.