NEWARK - The fate of a man accused in one of Newark's most horrific murder cases is now in the hands of the jury, as deliberations began today at the Essex County Courthouse in the trial of Jose Carranza.

Carranza is accused of sexually assaulting and cutting the only surviving victim of the 2007 Newark schoolyard killings, actions his attorney argues were done by another co-defendant.

Co-defendant Shahid Baskerville testified against Carranza in exchange for a lighter sentence. The surviving victim, Natasha Aerial, has memory lapses as a result of the traumatic attack. The prosecution told the jury that Carranza was there and engaged in the attack.

The August 2007 execution-style killings behind Mount Vernon School in Newark took the lives of three young adults. Four of the six men and boys charged, each with gang ties, have pleaded guilty or have been convicted. Defense Attorneys try to poke holes in Carranza testimony Defense rests its case in schoolyard murders trial Testimony continues in Newark schoolyard murders trial

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Closing arguments due in NJ triple-murder trialTrial continues for man accused in Newark schoolyard murders Trial starts for 3rd defendant in Newark schoolyard killingsJury selection begins for 3rd Newark schoolyard killings suspect Melvin Jovel gets life in prison for Newark schoolyard killings Man faces sentencing for Newark schoolyard killings Man admits role in Newark schoolyard slayings Court voids statement in NJ schoolyard slayingsCommunity praises sentence in Newark schoolyard killingsTestimony concludes in NJ triple slay trial Jurors hear from weapons experts in NJ triple slay New details may emerge in Newark schoolyard killings Schoolyard killings jury sees crime scene evidence Survivor to testify in Newark schoolyard murdersTrial begins in Newark schoolyard slayings Trial set for April in Newark schoolyard slayings Newark schoolyard slaying suspects hear charges