ITHACA, N.Y. — After a week of testimony and evidence in the trial of Nagee Green, the prosecution rested its case Monday. The case will continue Tuesday afternoon.
Two witnesses testified Monday after a three-hour interview with Green concluded. One witness was Ithaca Police Department Investigator Kevin McKenna, who interviewed Green after his arrest in November. The other witness who testified unwillingly Monday had been part of brawls that broke out shortly before Anthony Nazaire’s death .
A jury will determine if Green, 23, intentionally killed 19-year-old Nazaire. Green has been indicted on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault.
District Attorney Matthew Van Houten and Assistant District Attorney Eliza Filipowski are prosecuting the case. Green is represented by attorneys Joseph Joch and Michael Perehinec.
On Aug. 28, Nazaire was fatally stabbed in the chest after a party at Cornell University. Nazaire’s friend, Raheim Williams, was also stabbed but survived. Williams was stabbed three times in the back. They were both stabbed during a brawl that started near the intersection of Campus Road and College Avenue.
Nazaire had just started his sophomore year at Ithaca College.
After a jury was in place, opening statements began June 5. While the prosecution has stated since the beginning that the death of Anthony Nazaire was no accident, defense attorney Joseph Joch has said the prosecution has failed to show there was intent if Green did stab Nazaire.
The trial so far has made it clear that the brawl and events leading up to Nazaire’s death were chaotic. Witnesses have testified that things happened fast, and Snapchat videos displayed in court have shown many small fights had broken out and people running all over.
Witnesses called to testify have included friends there the night of the incident, investigators and forensic experts. The jury has also seen images from the crime scene, the knife believed to be used in the killing, several short Snapchat videos and a three-hour interview with Green.
Joch brought up the concern that prosecutors have not proved intent to Judge John Rowley after the prosecution rested its case Monday and asked Rowley to dismiss the case. Joch also said the defense may not present a case. If so, closing statements will take place Tuesday afternoon.
Investigator Kevin McKenna wrapped up testimony Monday, after the interview with Green was played. In the video, Green was interrogated by McKenna and New York State Police Investigator Richard Haas.
During the interview, Green said Nazaire and Williams fell on him, and maybe Nazaire fell on the knife. He later said he doesn’t remember stabbing Nazaire. “That I will not admit to,” Green said.
While testifying, McKenna was shown Snapchat videos. One video depicted a man, who witnesses identified as Green, running toward a group of people where Nazaire and Williams were said to be. McKenna said in the video, Green could be seen “lunging” in the direction of Nazaire with a knife in his hand.
Prosecutors also called Michael Gilmore to testify. When District Attorney Matthew Van Houten asked if he was in court Monday voluntarily, Gilmore said “No.” He was present with attorney Kristine Shaw and was subpoenaed to testify.
Gilmore said he attended the party Aug. 27 with several friends. He said there were no problems during the party, but a big brawl started after the party let out. He said it got started because somebody “got touched.” He identified himself in several Snapchat videos depicting the fighting, but said he could not identify anyone else in the videos. After speaking with his attorney, however, he was able to identify Green as wearing a dark shirt and backpack.
During cross-examination of Investigator McKenna, Joch asked McKenna several times about other leads the police department followed, including a lead about Gilmore. However, McKenna said police considered that lead a “dead end.” Joch asked what evidence the Ithaca Police Department had before arresting Green. He said they had numerous witnesses statements and videos. Williams was also able to identify Green on top of him, McKenna said.
Joch asked if anybody said they saw anyone stab anybody? McKenna said, “No.” In a few different ways, Joch asked McKenna if it “was fair to say” that McKenna persuaded Green during the course of the interview that he stabbed Nazaire. McKenna disagreed and said he was looking for Green to confirm what happened that night.
After McKenna’s testimony, the prosecution rested its case. After, Joch moved to dismiss the case, saying the prosecution failed to present evidence that the stabbing was intentional. He said the evidence was more consistent with an accident. Van Houten argued that the prosecution had presented intent, giving examples of evidence of Green drawing the knife and a witness testifying that Green said “I kill out here.”
The trial will resume at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Featured image: Nagee Green listens to opening statements June 5. 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 email@example.com comments or concerns.