Skip to comments.Muslim pleads guilty to killing Jewish man
Posted on 01/13/2004 5:50:12 AM PST by American72
A Saudi millionaire's son who went from a freewheeling Houston college student to an observant Muslim pleaded guilty Monday to nearly decapitating a longtime Jewish friend in the accused's Galleria-area apartment but offered no explanation.
Mohammed Ali Alayed, 23, who spent the last three years in Houston on a student visa, admitted slashing the throat of Ariel Sellouk, also 23, with a 4-inch butterfly knife Aug.6.
Alayed, who was to go on trial Monday on murder charges, pleaded guilty in a deal that will limit his punishment to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced in April by state District Judge Joan Huffman.
Although there was no direct evidence the killing was a hate crime, attorneys said jurors might have been particularly unsympathetic to Alayed because the slaying raised the specter of Islamic extremism and stereotypes surrounding terrorists.
"Now is not a good time to be trying a case with these facts," said Alayed's attorney, George Parnham. "I believe a jury well could have given him a life sentence."
Prosecutor Stephen St. Martin said there was no clear motive in the killing, which Alayed's roommate witnessed.
There was no strategic advantage to prosecuting the slaying as a hate crime, because that and murder by itself carry a maximum sentence of life in prison, St. Martin said.
Alayed and Sellouk became friends while studying at Houston Community College. Alayed attended Sellouk's 21st birthday party, and the two spent time together, visiting local bars and socializing with young women.
But Alayed severed ties with Sellouk about one year before the killing. The defendant had undergone a religious reawakening and had recently reformed his typical American student behavior to a more conservative, Islamic lifestyle, authorities said.
However, just days before the slaying, Alayed contacted Sellouk and they arranged to meet. They had drinks at a bar before returning to Alayed's apartment in the 2500 block of Winrock, where Sellouk was killed.
Alayed then immediately called a friend for a ride to a nearby mosque. He later told his roommate he planned to flee to Saudi Arabia to avoid prosecution, authorities said.
Alayed's bail was set at $5 million after prosecutors said they feared the Saudi Arabian government would help post his bond. The Saudi consulate had posted previous bonds for Alayed on minor traffic violations, St. Martin said.
Alayed never made bail and has remained in Harris County Jail.
Sellouk's father, Michel, a Moroccan Jew who has lived in Houston for 22 years, said last year he believed his son was slain because he was Jewish. But as he left the courtroom Monday, the father said he no longer speculates about the motive.
"I believe that something must have set him off to do this heinous act," Sellouk said. "He will get what he deserves."
Alayed's father is a wealthy Saudi businessman. The parents tried to come to Houston for their son's court appearance but had trouble obtaining a visa and are expected in Texas on Wednesday, a family friend said.
Alayed's parents gave him $60,000 a year to attend school in Houston, court documents show. He had dropped out of school and was in violation of his student visa, authorities said.
He didn't need to, all you need to know is right there. Became an "observant" Muslim and slaughtered a Jew. I hope we don't have too many "observant" Muslims like this guy in the U.S.
There you go with that common sense again. Yes, I realize that he murdered him. My point is that his murder seems to qualify for prosecution under current hate crimes legislation, yet they opted not to do so. I find this curious because -
If it were a white guy and a black guy under similar circumstances, you'd see a hate crimes charge brought up.
It seems pretty clear from that Daniel Pearl type decapitation that hate of religion and national origin are the motives for the killing. More bluntly, we have a Islamofascits jerk killing a Jew for no apparent reason. One would think this is why we have inane hate crimes laws in the first place.
I'm just wondering why, when it's not a white guy doing the crime, 'hate' isn't an issue.
This statement is true. Of course, the statement is also true if the victim is Black and the perptrator is White. But in the latter case does anyone believe it would not be heralded as a "Hate Crime"? Simply stated, no prosecutor could stay in office if he/she took the same position as the prosecutor in this case.
Therein lies the truth of "Hate Crime Legislation". It is a political tool which is only to be used in politically correct scenarios. Such legislation perverts our system of justice.
The defendant had undergone a religious reawakening and had recently reformed his typical American student behavior to a more conservative, Islamic lifestyle, authorities said.
A "religious reawakening" that directly leads to murder. Says all that needs to be said about that "religion",IMO.
What?! The maximum sentence is LIFE? For a premeditated murder like this, the penalty should be EXECUTION - period. This is Texas, where we put down a convicted murderer/oxygen thief every couple of weeks, and I see no reason to treat this murdering scumbag any differently from any other murdering scumbag.
As to the "hate crime" issue: I'm against it on principle - you want to punish bad acts, not bad thoughts (it is supposed to be a free country, after all, and freedom to think what you wish, no matter how absurd or insane, is our birthright). I also wouldn't want to see a white murderer of someone I'm related to punished any less harshly than a non-white because of this legislation - the fact that such a person was dead would be enough for me, regardless of the melanin content of the murderers skin. However, if any crime qualifies for "hate crime" status, this one does; the fact that it wasn't prosecuted as such betrays the motivation of those who proposed and enforce such laws.
Stupifyingly ridiculous. The guy recreates the Daniel Pearl snuff video and it's the jury that's prejudiced?
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