Ali Mohamad Mohamud trial
BUFFALO, NY - The trial of Ali Mohamad Mohamud resumed Tuesday morning. Mohamud is charged with beating his 10-year-old stepson to death with a rolling pin.
At the start of the proceeding, before the jury came in, the prosecution raised its concern that the defense team might be considering a psychiatric defense of Mohamud. If that were so, the prosecution would have to be informed in advance. Defense attorney Kevin Spitler replied that a defense based on "extreme emotional disturbance" is under consideration, and the judge allowed the trial to continue.
Buffalo Police Detective Michael Mordino resumed his testimony from Monday. Answering questions from Erie County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Finnerty, he discussed evidence retrieved from the home and basement, including 15" and 22" rolling pins believed to have been used in the assault.
The prosecution then showed a 12-minute videotape of the crime scene, which showed the basement, several bloody footsteps, splattered blood on the wall and ceiling, and the battered body of Abdi.
The defendant did not watch any of the video, but continued looking forward and down at the table, shaking his head once in awhile. Members of the jury watched intently, with pained expressions on their faces. Family members covered their mouths and sobbed as quietly as possible.
Detective Mordino was then asked to identify several photos from the crime scene.
The defense raised objections to showing the video and several of the photos on the grounds that the evidence was inflammatory, but these were overruled by the judge.
Buffalo Police Detective Sgt. James lonergan took the stand in the afternoon, talking about the details of the statement Ali Mohamed Mohamud gave to police the night of the killing.
Among other statements, Lonergan (who took the original statement) said that when he asked what happened, Mohamud told him, "I love my kids, shoot me right here", pointing to his head.
In the statement, Mohamud discussed what happened leading up to the death of Abdifatah. He says that the boy ran away from home when he was told to do homework. When they were able to get him back to the house, the defendant tells police, that he locked the 10 year old in the basement to keep him from leaving again. When Abdifatah wouldn't keep quiet, Ali says he placed a sock in his mouth, held in place with duct tape. He says at one point in the dispute, Abdifatah kicked him in the groin. In the statement, Ali Mohamed Mohamud says that is when he went upstairs and got a wooden rolling pin and proceeded to hit the boy with it.
The prosecution is expected to go into DNA evidence and call the medical examiner to the stand on Wednesday, before wrapping its case. It is still unclear whether the defense will pursue a psychiatric case or call the defendant himself to testify. Closing arguments are expected to take place as early as Thursday.