July 29, 2013

Judge Rules Enough Evidence to Hold Kassim Alhimidi For Trial in Murder of Shaima Alawadi

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WKRG:

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) - A judge on Friday ordered an Iraqi immigrant to stand trial in California in the killing of his wife, whose fatal beating prompted international condemnation because it had appeared to be a hate crime.

San Diego County Superior Court Judge Lantz Lewis announced his decision after Kassim Alhimidi's lawyer urged the court to let his client go, saying there is no forensic evidence linking him to the death of his wife, 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi.

Attorney Richard Berkon Jr. noted no blood or glass was found on Alhimidi's body or clothing, or in his car. And he said his client does not speak English, raising doubts he was capable of staging the killing as a hate crime by planting the note found in the next room that read: "Go back to your country, you terrorist."

Alhimidi has pleaded not guilty to murder. He also has cooperated with police throughout the investigation, even voluntarily returning from Iraq after burying his wife in their homeland.

"It doesn't make sense, your honor," Berkon told Lewis. "The real killer is still out there."

The judge said the most persuasive evidence for him was street-camera footage that indicates Alhimidi might have driven a short distance from home that fateful March 21, 2012, morning and parked his car - contradicting his story to investigators that he had gone for a drive to relax at that time.

"It appears to be a lie," Lewis said in explaining his ruling.

Hat Tip: Odie Wan Kenodie.

By Howie at 07:31 AM | Comments |