An Iraqi immigrant was convicted of beating his wife to death because she wanted a divorce. He could get life in prison when he’s sentenced. As the guilty verdict was read, chaos broke out in the courtroom.
Kassim Alhimidi was convicted of bludgeoning his wife to death at their El Cajon home with a tire iron. When the verdict was read, Alhimidi wagged his finger at the judge and shook his head. His son was shouting his father innocence and was dragged from the courtroom.
Alhimidi’s eldest daughter who was 17 at the time found her mother, Shaima Alawadi, 32, in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor. Alawadi died in the hospital two days later. The house revealed obvious signs of an altercation.
The sliding glass door had been shattered. In an attempt to make the beating look like a hate crime, a note was left for investigators that said, “This is my country, go back to yours, you terrorist.”
Prosecutors revealed to the San Diego County jury that for weeks Alhimidi had been distraught about his wife’s plan to leave him and file for divorce. He had ordered his children and other relatives to demand she stay with him. Their eldest daughter, Fatima spoke with investigators and told them about her mother’s plan to move to Texas to be with her sister.
Prosecutor Kurt Mechals stated that after the attack, Alhimidi went to the hospital to see his wife. As his hand rested on his unconscious wife, he apologized to her. One of the children’s uncles told investigators that before he left the room, Alhimidi told him that if his wife woke up she would try to say he attacked her.
Defense attorneys revealed that Alhimidi loved his wife and that after her burial in Iraq, he could have stayed there. Instead he chose to return to the U.S. to cooperate with police. His cooperation ended eight months later when he was arrested.
Attorney Richard Berkon Jr, told the jury that, “This man has never once raised a hand to Shaima.” The case has also torn the family apart. Two of Alhimidi’s son’s shouted his innocence when the verdict was read. However the victim’s mother Rehima Alhussanwi stated that he deserved worse than he’ll get.
Daughter, Fatima issued a statement that said, “Although we love our father, we also hate what we believe he did.”
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