AZTEC — Justin Mark has to wait one more night before he knows what the rest of his life is going to be like.

Mark, 25, is nearing the end of his murder trial, which started Tuesday.

Attorneys on both sides made closing arguments Thursday morning and the jury deliberated the case for five and a half hours before District Judge John Dean sent them home for the evening. The jury will continue deliberations today at 8 a.m.

The jury has a long list of instructions it must apply that will not only affect the verdict, but also Mark's possible prison sentence.

Mark is charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery, aggravated battery and other charges in the beating death of Kevin Lossiah. Mark could face life in prison if he is convicted.

The jury has to weigh the evidence and Mark's intentions to determine if he is or isn't guilty of the crimes he is accused of. The jury could convict him of first-degree murder if he intended to kill Lossiah or if he intended to commit another felony against him, such as armed robbery and aggravated burglary, and Lossiah died.

"Either one of those is first-degree murder, and that's what happened here," Assistant District Attorney Ken Stalter said.

The jury could also convict him of second-degree murder or find him not guilty of murder.

Mark is accused of beating Lossiah, 40, while he was sleeping in his apartment at 2700 Apache St. on a Sunday afternoon in May 2011. Lossiah died 12 hours later at San Juan Regional Medical Center.


Mark, of Sanostee, and Donovan King, a 23-year-old from Red Valley, Ariz., allegedly entered Lossiah's house, beat him with a stick and took his wallet, cell phone and car keys.

The two men were arrested by police two hours after Lossiah was found brutally beaten. Mark has drops of Lossiah's blood on his sweatshirt and was carrying Lossiah's car keys, according to court documents.

King is scheduled to go to trial in January.

Tom Clark, Mark's attorney, argued that the evidence does not show a clear picture of what happened to Lossiah. He said there is no way of knowing whether it was Mark or King who struck the blows that ended Lossiah's life and there was no evidence to show the two men broke into the apartment.

"You are left with more questions than answers," he said during his closing argument. "There is no evidence he entered without permission. ... There is no evidence my client was ever in possession of the (stick)."

The prosecution argued that even if it is unclear who fatally struck Lossiah, both King and Mark can be convicted of first-degree murder because they illegally entered Lossiah's apartment with the intention of robbing him. If a person dies while a person is committing a violent felony, everyone in the group can be charged with felony murder, the prosecution said.

The jury has a list of instructions it must follow when determining its verdict. Mark is charged with a total of seven felonies.

Clark said there is only enough evidence to convict Mark of larceny.

"Tragic, bloody and as horrible as it is, there is no evidence of intent to kill," he said.