ITHACA, N.Y. – It’s been two days since closing statements were made in the re-trial of Nagee Green, and jurors have finally reached a verdict finding the defendant guilty of second-degree murder.
Green, the man accused of fatally stabbing 19-year-old Ithaca College student Anthony Nazaire, faced murder and assault charges following an incident on Aug. 28, 2016. Green was initially put on trial for those charges in June which lasted nearly three weeks. Testimonies throughout the initial trial revealed details of the night in late August where a party at Cornell University turned tragic.
Since the first trial, the story has been pieced together, with Green placed in the forefront as the only possible perpetrator of the crime. Nazaire and his friend Rahiem Willams, another victim of assault from that night, attended a party at Cornell the night of Aug. 27. According to witness testimony, a brawl broke out after the party was over when a man allegedly bumped into a woman in the early morning hours of Aug 28.
During the chaos of the fight is when prosecutors allege Green stabbed Williams three times in the back and Nazaire, who died at the scene, once in the chest.
By the end of the first trial, jurors had only reached a partial verdict, finding Green guilty of first-degree assault related to the stabbing of Williams. However, the jury was deadlocked on the verdict of the murder charge. Unable to make a decision, the trial was momentarily put on hold – jury selection for Green’s re-trial began on Sept. 15.
Defense attorney Joseph Joch has said repeatedly throughout his client’s first and second trial that the ‘dots didn’t connect’ in the case, and that there were too many holes in the timeline of the evening with questions that have been left unanswered.
Joch says there is no proof Green was the person who stabbed Nazaire. Fellow defense attorney Michael Perehinec also pointed out that of the seven people who were present at the scene, none of them testified that they saw Nazaire stabbed. According to police reports, Nazaire’s blood was never found on the alleged murder weapon. The only evidence offered to the jury of the fight was a handful of dimly-lit Snapchat videos, all of which are less than 10 seconds long.
While both sides agree that Green was in possession of a ‘military-style’ knife on the night of the party, neither can agree that if he did stab Nazaire, there was intent behind his action. In one of the brief videos, Assistant District Attorney Eliza Filipowski pointed out that Green can be seen wielding a knife during the fight. Prosecuting attorneys argue this does not prove intent. District Attorney Matthew Van Houten argues otherwise; that Green intended to stab Nazaire.
“Let’s be clear – Nagee Green stabbed Anthony Nazaire,” Van Houten said. “It was not an accident.”
In Green’s initial police interrogation, he denies stabbing anyone at the party. By the end of the three-hour interrogation, Joch argues that police broke Green down to the point where he accepted their theory that he killed Nazaire. By the end of the interrogation, Green told police that it was possible during a scuffle that Nazaire may have fallen on the knife.
“(The interrogation) was designed to destroy his confidence and his own memory. He must have believed after a time that his memory was wrong,” Joch said. “They got him to the point of believing he must have accidentally stabbed Anthony Nazaire.”
Judge John C. Rowley received a note from the jury Thursday afternoon just after 3:30 p.m., notifying him that they had reached a decision in regards to the verdict. Two trials and over a year later, Green was found guilty of second-degree murder for the stabbing of Nazaire. Green’s sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 6.