Prosecutor Kurt Mechals failed to prove that Kassim Alhimidi beat his 32-year-old wife to death in their home in 2012, his defense attorney told jurors today, April 15.
A note reading “This is my county go back to yours Terrorist” was found near the bloodied body of Shaima Alawadi, but investigators eventually decided that the photocopied message was false evidence placed as a diversion. Alhimidi and his deceased wife reportedly arrived from Iraq in the early '90s.
Defense attorney Richard Berkon told the jury that it was “not so unusual” that Alhimidi would lie to police and deny problems in his marriage. In fact, his wife had obtained divorce papers from the same courthouse in which the jury of seven men and five women is now hearing the murder case.
The defense scoffed at investigators’ assertion that defendant Alhimidi could not account for one hour of his time — the same window of time in which his wife, the mother of their five children, was killed.
Berkon produced an evidence photo taken inside the house at 564 Skyview Street. He said the picture showed a clock that was off by one hour. The attorney suggested that the photo proved there was an innocent error due to the annual change of hour for daylight savings time.
There were witnesses who testified that 49-year-old Alhimidi made incriminating comments worrying that his wife might “wake up” and say that he was the one who struck her; but those witnesses were all related to the victim and therefore biased against Alhimidi, the defense attorney suggested.
The fatally wounded woman was found with multiple blows to her skull and defensive wounds to one arm on March 21, 2012; she was declared deceased in the hospital three days later.
There was tension in judge William McGrath’s courtroom: half the seats were filled with the family of the victim and half with family of the defendant.
Prosecutor Mechals was expected to give his final arguments to the jury this afternoon and then jurors would begin their deliberations in San Diego’s East County superior courthouse, located in El Cajon.