RALEIGH — A teenager accused of taking part in a January 2013 home invasion and sexual assault surprised the prosecution Monday when his attorney said the teen would plead guilty in Wake County Superior Court to the crime that bred lingering unease in the historic Oakwood neighborhood.
Shabar Marshalls attorney rose before Judge Henry W. Hight and said the teen would enter guilty pleas in an invasion of a Lane Street home on Jan. 7, 2013, and another invasion in Raleigh in late 2012. The husband of the woman raped on Lane Street was paralyzed when he was shot in the spine.
Marshall, who was 16 at the time of the Oakwood home invasion, was accused of committing the crimes with his older brother, Jahaad Marshall, who was 26. Police arrested the two in 2013.
Prosecutors contend the Marshall brothers entered the home through an open window in the early hours. The homeowners awoke to find the brothers standing over them, according to police and court reports. Prosecutors contend the younger Marshall sexually assaulted the woman in the upper level of the house while the older brother restrained the victims husband downstairs. The woman eventually escaped to a neighbors home. Her husband was shot in the spine during the incident, prosecutors contend, and the injuries left him paralyzed.
Jahaad Marshall, dressed in a red and white prison jumpsuit on Monday, entered pleas of not guilty to the string of crimes his brother pleaded to committing, setting up a trial that could bring the brothers together again in a courtroom setting.
Brother vs. brother?
Shabar Marshall, 17, wearing a green prison jumpsuit, said he would plead guilty to rape, sex offense, robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury in the invasion that occurred on Lane Street. He also said he would plead guilty to first-degree burglary, kidnapping and armed robbery in the Dec. 30 invasion.
A hearing is tentatively set for later this week. Hight will hear the facts of the case then and decide whether to accept the plea.
The news from the younger Marshall came as a surprise to Boz Zellinger, the Wake County assistant district attorney assigned to the case.
Shabar Marshall and his brother remain charged in two home invasions that occurred in Northeast Raleigh in the late hours of Dec. 25, 2012, and early Dec. 26, 2012. Shabar Marshall did not offer guilty pleas in those incidents.
Shabar Marshall was convicted in November of first-degree burglary, kidnapping and larceny in a Dec. 11, 2012, home invasion.
George Kelly, the Raleigh defense attorney representing the younger Marshall, said after the Monday hearing that his client was accepting responsibility for what he had done.
It was not clear Monday when the judge would sentence Shabar Marshall. No plea deals had been offered for any of the charges, according to Kelly.
Kelly called the lack of a plea-deal offer unusual in Wake County but added that his clients willingness to acknowledge his involvement could be viewed as a mitigating factor in sentencing and spare the teen as lengthy a sentence as he might otherwise face. He has been sentenced to seven years in prison for the Dec. 11 home invasion.