The fate of a man charged in a Jersey City murder will likely boil down to one thing - will the jury believe the testimony of a man who was also charged in the murder but had that charge dropped after he agreed to testify.
JERSEY CITY -- The fate of a man charged in a Jersey City murder will likely boil down to one thing -- will the jury believe the testimony of a man who was also charged in the murder but had that charge dropped after he agreed to testify.
"You will learn that Vernell Mohammed lied to the police and you are going to hear him tell you he lied to police," said Scott Finckenauer, the attorney representing Dashawn Mixson 21, who is on trial for the March 28, 2017, murder of Dajour Riley, 19, in Jersey City. Continuing in his opening statement today, Finckenauer said Mohammed "is going to continue to lie when he gets up here because Varnell Mohammed is a liar." The defense attorney said there is no other evidence.
No gun was recovered.
Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Baginski said the 11:45 a.m.
shooting was captured on video which he said shows Mixson repeatedly firing into the vehicle Riley was a passenger in with the mother of his unborn child.
The shots shattering the car's windshield and a driver side window.
The prosecutor said Mixson is then driven away in a gold Oldsmobile and police quickly track it down to the area of the Booker T.
Washington housing complex.
As officers approached the car, Mohammed tossed the vehicle's keys away.
"Vernell was there that morning ladies and gentlemen," Baginski said.
"His testimony is direct evidence of the defendant's conduct." Riley suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
His girlfriend drove him to the Jersey City Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at about 2:30 p.m.
Mohammed was also charged with the murder but he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault in the second degree.
The plea deal requires that he testify against Mixson.
He is awaiting sentencing.
Second-degree offenses carry a possible sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison.
The only witness to take the stand today was the 911 call taker who received the call on the shooting and got a description of the cars involved.
Testimony will continue tomorrow before Hudson County Superior Court Judge John Young in the Hudson County Administration Building.
Mixson faces 30 years to life if convicted.
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