Friday, May 24, 2013

Dad who has drowned his sons

Dad who has drowned his sons,  North Texas man was sentenced to death on Thursday for drowning his two young sons in a Dallas-area creek. The Dallas County jury took about three and a half hours to sentence Naim Rasool Muhammad. The same jury took less than 10 minutes last week to find him guilty of capital murder in the deaths of 5-year-old Naim and 3-year-old Elijah.

"I apologize for bringing any pain and hurt on anybody for the actions that I have caused to you all," Muhammad said after the sentence was announced. He said that the only reason he did it was because he wanted to be a father and thought that was being taken away.

Muhammad killed Naim and Elijah in August 2011. Authorities say he forced the boys and their mother, Kametra Sampson, into a car and started driving on what was supposed to be Naim's first day of school. "You've shown that you have no boundaries, that nothing is sacred to you -- not even the bond between a father and son," Sampson said after the verdict was announced.

In closing arguments, prosecutor Tammy Kemp called Muhammad "a monster" and "100 percent pure evil." That angered Muhammad's mother, who stood up and shouted, "That is not a monster. He is my son." She bolted from the courtroom but could be heard shouting in the corridor outside as Kemp resumed her closing argument.

Defense attorney Paul Johnson told jurors that the children's deaths were, indeed, a horrible crime -- one deserving of life imprisonment without parole. He told jurors that Muhammad's neglect by a mother who was a crack-addicted prostitute and upbringing amid violence and sexual abuse warped him. That, Johnson said, was sufficient mitigation to spare him the death penalty.

"If it's not this case, what is it?" he said. "He is not evil, but he has committed an evil act."

Confession, Quick Judgment

During a taped confession from an interview with investigators that played in court May 14, Muhammad confessed to the murders.

The video showed Muhammad telling investigators that he told the children to pretend they were swimming and then held them underwater until they drowned. As the interview played, the defendant sobbed so loudly it could be heard in the hallway.

Jurors took less than 10 minutes the following day to convict Muhammad of capital murder.

Prosecutors said Muhammad is a threat to society and that there is no reason he should be allowed to live.

"I don't have to recall the facts of the case because, although it was not filled with blood or gore, it was a horror unimagined," prosecutor Sherre Sweet said.

Muhammad, who has a criminal record spanning 20 years, killed his sons after their mother began dating someone new, prosecutors say.

"It was the ultimate textbook family violence power and control play -- 'If I can't get you to do what I want you to do through violence, I will go to your very heartstrings,'" Sweet said.


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