ITHACA, N.Y. – Five people were chosen on the first day of jury selection for the re-trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing an Ithaca College student just over a year ago.
On August 27, 2016, 19-year-old Anthony Nazaire was fatally stabbed in the chest during a brawl which broke out following a party at Cornell University. A second man, Rahiem Williams, survived three stab wounds to the back.
Nagee Green, the man accused of stabbing Nazaire and Williams, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, and second-degree assault in November.
In June, Green went on trial for the charges which lasted nearly three weeks. Details of the brawl were discussed over the course of the three weeks, revealing various Snapchat videos of that night, details of Nazaire’s autopsy and police interviews as evidence before a jury made up of 12 people.
However, after four days of deliberation, the jury was unable to reach a decision on Green’s murder charge. Judge John C. Rowley received a note from the jury on June 19 stating that they were deadlocked on a decision. After finding Green guilty on felony second-degree assault charge, the case was temporarily put on hold.
On Friday, jury selection began in Tompkins County Court for Green’s re-trial, which will resurface all the details of the case before a new jury.
District Attorney Matt Van Houten, prosecuting the case along with Assistant District Attorney Eliza Filipowski, focused on asking potential jurors their ability to make a decision without being 100 percent certain of the facts.
“The videos in this case do not show every single moment of events that you will be deciding on during this trial,” Van Houten said. “Can you put together the rest of the puzzle?”
Rowley described the evidence to the jurors as “glimmers, slices and pieces”.
Upon asking potential jurors if they would be able to come to a conclusion without specific pieces of hard evidence, Van Houten was met with some resistance by some potential jurors. Several people showed discomfort when asked to make a decision, especially involving a murder charge, without being able to know exactly what may have happened the night of Aug. 27.
Van Houten said five jurors were chosen by the end of the day on Friday. Jury selection is scheduled to continue in Tompkins County Court on Monday morning.