A northeast Ohio man who gunned down two men and wounded three others this past February is headed to prison. A jury has convicted him of double murder, and today the jury recommended that the judge hand down a sentence of 30 years to life, sparing him the death penalty:
Jury recommends life in prison with parole after 30 years in prison for Nasser Hamad.
— 21WFMJNews (@21WFMJNews) November 8, 2017
The judge then gave Nasser Hamad of Howlett, Ohio, a sentence of life in prison:
#BREAKING: Judge Ronald Rice sentences Nasser Hamad to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 36 full years served.
— Nadine Grimley (@NadineG316) November 9, 2017
Hamad had claimed he acted in self-defense during the February 25th incident, and then during the trial claimed that the shooting was due to PTSD. He and his attorney also said that the charges against him were part of an “Islamophobic” conspiracy against him because he is Arab and Muslim.
They repeatedly demanded that the surviving victims of his shooting be charged with hate crimes.
During today’s sentencing hearing, Hamad said that he hasn’t received adequate counsel. Hamad was convicted last week on two charges of aggravated murder and multiple counts of attempted murder.
Hamad “acknowledged” that the fight had ended at the point where he went into the house and retrieved his gun, the filing says. He also acknowledged that the five were in the van when he walked the 70 feet from his front door to the van and fired nine to 10 shots at the five.
When the bullets ran out, Hamad went back into the house and got a second ammunition magazine. “Again, he did not call 911, lock himself securely in his home and wait for police,” the filing says.
When he arrived at the van a second time, he fired the fatal shot into the back of Josh Haber, 19, while Haber tried to get back into the van. He also fired at Shively and Hendrickson as they fled on foot, the filing says.
Joshua Williams, 20, later died at the hospital. April Trent Vokes, 42, suffered serious injuries, as did Hendrickson. Shively was grazed by a bullet.
One of the surviving victims later committed suicide.
Hamad’s attorney had said that the charges against his client were part of an “Islamophobic” conspiracy by the prosecution:
Hamad’s attorney, Geoffrey Oglesby, filed a motion March 8 to Judge Ronald Rice asking that charges against Hamad be dropped because the prosecution had “not pursued … charges against the three White Americans and has charged the Arab-Muslim American, and they were all involved in the same altercation.”
The filing called the five “a terroristic group set firmly against Hamad because he was an Arab and a Muslim.”
During a bond hearing, Hamad asked the prosecutor if he was a “Zionist Jew”:
— Derek Steyer (@DerekWFMJ) March 9, 2017
Hamad had a number of previous encounters with law enforcement. There were existing protective orders against him, and he has threatened to kill his own brother:
— 21 WFMJ (@21WFMJ) March 1, 2017
Throughout the judicial process, Hamad has publicly received support from his family and other members of the community who believed he was being targeted, and that the surviving victims should be charged:
A large sign of support sits outside Nasser Hamad’s home along Niles-Cortland Road in Howland. https://t.co/sbieGk7gau
— Lindsey Watson (@LindseyWatsonTV) March 1, 2017
— 21 WFMJ (@21WFMJ) October 12, 2017
Mike Hamad, one of the defendant’s brothers, told reporters following the jury recommendations yesterday that Hamad intends to appeal.