Man from Portland released from prison following judge’s verdict for retrial in Somali man’s murder case
A Portland resident who had been found guilty of manslaughter for the fatal shooting of his sister’s boyfriend in 2019 has been released on bail following a judge’s ruling for a new trial. This decision has caused confusion and outrage among the victim’s family.
Mark Cardilli Jr., the accused, claims that he acted in self-defense when he killed Isahak Muse. According to Cardilli, the conflict escalated after Muse refused to leave the Cardilli family’s residence upon their request. At the time of the incident, Cardilli was 24 years old, while Muse was 22.
The judge determined that Cardilli’s legal team, which included an attorney who now serves as a district judge, did not adequately present the self-defense argument during the initial trial. As a result, the conviction was vacated, and a new trial was ordered. The Attorney General’s office has expressed intentions to appeal this decision, but Cardilli was released on $20,000 bail in the meantime.
The shooting incident caused tension within Portland’s Muslim community, with some perceiving it as a hate crime committed by a Caucasian individual against a Black Muslim victim.
Muse’s sister expressed deep sorrow and disbelief upon learning of Cardilli’s release, particularly since he served less than half of his original 7 1/2-year prison sentence. Asli Muse stated that it feels unjust for Cardilli to walk freely when he took away her brother’s life and was previously convicted for it. She mourns the impossibility of bringing her brother back.
Originally charged with murder, Cardilli was ultimately found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter. The altercation occurred when Muse, who was 22 at the time and in a relationship with Cardilli’s 17-year-old sister, violated bail conditions that prevented him from being near her. Muse refused to leave the Cardilli family’s home upon the request of his girlfriend’s parents, leading to chaos. It was at that point that Cardilli retrieved a firearm from his room.
Cardilli claims that Muse physically attacked him, cornering him against a wall and instilling a genuine fear for his life. In response, Cardilli fired three shots, one of which grazed Muse while the other two proved fatal, resulting in Muse’s immediate death at the scene.