BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Community members sobbed in court Tuesday morning, as Ali Mohamed Mohamud's murder trial continued. Mohamed Mohamud is charged with beating his step on Abdi to death with a rolling pin. He allegedly made confessions to police, his wife and his security boss at the Buffalo News.
You may find the following information disturbing. A 12-minute police video of the murder scene was played for the jury. As the camera approached Abdi's body, lying in a pool of blood on the basement floor, the defendant turned his head away from the screen and never looked back at it.
The jury never took their eyes off of the screen, there were sobs among the Somali citizens who were in the courtroom supporting the boy's family. They had been cautioned by prosecutor Erie County Assistant District Attorney Tom Finnerty that the video would be graphic and difficult to watch.
Buffalo Police Homicide Detective Michael Mordino has testified that there were no visible parts of Abdi's body that were not bruised. The prosecution says it could rest its case as early as Wednesday.
Earlier Tuesday morning, attorneys spoke to the judge without the jury present. Defense attorneys for Ali Mohamed Mohamud say they may seek to have the second-degree murder charge reduced to manslaughter, based on a possible defense of extreme emotional disturbance.
Attorney Kevin Spitler says he won't disclose whether he intends to put his client on the stand. Finnerty says Spitler's statements to the judge are "psychiatric hide and seek."
Det. Sgt. James Lonergan took the stand Tuesday afternoon and testified the defendant confessed to the murder at police headquarters after he was brought in for questioning. Lonergan said Mohamud admitted murdering his stepson because the boy had been "lying to him every day."
Lonergan asked Mohamud about a murder weapon, and testified Mohamud pointed to the leg of a chair and said that it was like that, only thicker. According to Lonergan, Mohamud asked to be shot, pointing to his forehead, over the crime.
Lonergan testified he had read Mohamud his rights, that the defendant had waived them, and that Mohamud signed a confession.
In a sworn statement, Mohamud told authorities Abdi was screaming and yelling after the boy had tried to run from the house. Mohamud admits putting a sock in his stepson's mouth and then duct taping the boy's mouth closed. In the statement, Mohamud says Abdi then kicked him in the groin. Mohamud then admitted beating the child over the head until Abdi fell to the floor.
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