RALEIGH — The horrors that occurred inside two Wake County houses in late 2012 and early 2013 were outlined Wednesday in a Wake County courtroom as a Superior Court judge accepted guilty pleas from a Cary teenager involved in the violent home invasions.
Shabar Marshall, 17, pleaded guilty to 15 charges that could result in a lifetime prison sentence for crimes committed inside a Lane Street home on Jan. 7, 2013, and a Sherry Drive house on Dec. 30, 2012.
The judge postponed sentencing until after a trial on other charges set to begin next week. Shabar Marshall already is serving a seven-year sentence for charges he was convicted of related to a home invasion on Dec. 11, 2012.
Boz Zellinger, the assistant Wake County district attorney assigned to the case, rose before Judge Henry Hight to offer a cursory glimpse of the evidence. He described protracted terror for two couples who awoke in the early-morning hours to Marshall and his accomplice.
Police contend Jahaad Tariem Marshall, 27, of 1447 Garner Road, Raleigh, is the teen’s partner in crime. Prosecutors contend the brothers were the culprits in at least four Wake County home invasions in December 2012 and January 2013.
Jahaad Marshall, represented by Deonte Thomas, a Raleigh attorney, has entered pleas of not guilty in the burglaries and violence that followed similar patterns.
On Dec. 30, 2012, between 3 and 4 a.m., a man in his 60s awoke inside his Sherry Drive home in northeastern Raleigh to a pistol under his chin, Zellinger told Hight. There were two men in the bedroom standing over the surprised homeowner. One was noticeably taller than the other.
The intruders, at least one wearing a ski mask, told the man to open a safe in the home. The man responded that he did not have the combination. His wife, he said, knew how to open the safe.
One of the intruders zapped the husband, a man in his 60s, in the back of the leg with an electroshock weapon. The intruders then proceeded to force the wife, who had fallen asleep in a chair in another room, to open the safe. Inside were several bonds – documents she told them would require identification to cash.
The burglars then asked the couple what else of value they had before handcuffing them to the rail of a bed.
Cash and a silver-colored .25-caliber Raven pistol with wood grips were taken from the Sherry Drive home.
Waking up to nightmare
Then, according to Zellinger, the gun was seen in the invasion of the home on Lane Street in the historic Oakwood neighborhood nine days later.
On Jan. 7, 2013, a couple in their 30s left the kitchen window cracked inside a Lane Street home to rid it of the smell and smoke from a burnt chicken.
The husband and wife fell asleep witheye masks and awoke between 3 and 4 a.m. to find two intruders standing over them. The Lane Street residents offered a description to investigators that was similar to that of the pair described by the couple on Sherry Drive.
The Lane Street couple were forced out of bed. The intruders made them lie face down on the floor, and a stun gun was used to shock them.
The husband and wife were asked “where the money was,” Zellinger said. They offered money from their wallets, but that was not enough to satisfy the intruders.
The woman then offered jewelry to the burglars, but one asked with profanity what he was “going to do with this.”
Then the men turned their attention to the wife.
The younger intruder had a gun pointed at the back of the woman’s head during a sexual assault and attempted rape.
The older brother had restrained the woman’s husband for part of that time before engaging in what prosecutors contended was another attempted rape.
The husband then tried to fight off her attackers, according to Zellinger, creating a scenario in which she was able to escape to a neighbor’s house to seek help.
While there, she heard the sound of a gunshot.
The husband was shot, and according to a report from emergency room doctors, the bullet missed his heart by roughly an inch and struck a vertebra, leaving him paralyzed.
Sentencing on pause
Shabar Marshall was not offered a plea deal from prosecutors and told the judge that he had not been forced to enter the guilty pleas.
The 17-year-old, who was 16 at the time of the home invasions, faces the possibility of 144 years in prison for all the charges to which he acknowledged guilt.
He pleaded guilty to attempted murder, attempted rape, a sex offense, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury in the invasion that occurred on Lane Street. He also pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, kidnapping and armed robbery in the Dec. 30 invasion.
George Kelly, the Raleigh attorney representing the younger Marshall, said earlier this week that he hoped the judge would consider his client’s willingness to acknowledge guilt and save the court the expense of trying him as a mitigating factor when it came time to hand down a sentence.
Prosecutors, though, will have to repeat much of the same information and put on broader evidence in their case against the older Marshall.
Both Marshall brothers remain accused of home invasions that happened late Dec. 25 or early Dec. 26 in 2012 at homes on Hatton Way and Toccopola Street in North Raleigh.
Blythe: 919-836-4948; Twitter: @AnneBlythe1