JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - An appeals court has ordered a new trial for a man sentenced to 30 years in prison in a New Jersey high-rise slaying a dozen years ago.
Zia Berisha was convicted of murder, manslaughter, robbery and other counts in the November 2007 death of 39-year-old Michael Marro Jr. in Jersey City.
NJ.com reports that the state’s appellate division ruled in favor of a retrial on the grounds that jurors weren’t told they could consider the possibility that the slaying was self-defense.
The court said the defense attorney’s failure to request such a jury instruction prejudiced Berisha’s right to a fair trial. The defense had noted the presence of weapons in Marro’s apartment and suggested that he had reached for one of them during the fight.
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