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Jury deadlocks in second murder trial of alleged teen killer

A jury failed to convict a Sicklerville man jailed since he was a teen of murder in a 2015 killing.

Isaiah Newsome went on trial for the second time in 6½ years this month. It ended Wednesday. with the jury deadlocked on all counts but a weapons offense.

“This proved what we already knew,” defense attorney David Bahuriak told BreakingAC. “The state has no credible proof that he killed this young man.”

During the trial, he told jurors the state’s case was a “train wreck.”

The state claims Newsome, then 17, shot another 17-year-old three times.

Dr. Steven Davion Garrett — the victim’s name not occupation — was found dead in Pleasantville’s Max Manning Park on Aug. 7, 2015.

Newsome was arrested two months later, and eventually waived up to be tried as an adult.

His first trial in 2019, ended in its second week after his then-attorney, Tamika McKoy, alleged there was new information that pointed to someone else being responsible.

The three-week trial this month got to the jury. But they couldn’t come to agreement.

The question now is whether Newsome will be tried again.

“The way I see it, they had 6½ years to prove he committed this murder,” Bahuriak said. “At some point, it becomes unjust what they’re doing to him.”

If Newsome isn’t retried, there could be an argument at sentencing on the weapon charge that he should be sentenced as a juvenile, since it was the murder charge that caused him to be tried as an adult.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office did not return requests seeking comment.

Superior Court Judge Pam D’Arcy lowered his $750,000 bail to $50,000 bail for now. But Newsome is still being held on a racketeering charge from 2021, that alleges he was part of a drug-trafficking ring that resulted in 30 people being indicted.

The allegations are from when he was already in the Atlantic County jail, and his co-defendants include Corrections Officer Luis Mercado, who allegedly helped smuggle cell phones and drugs into the Justice Facility.

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