The courtroom erupted into shouting after Kassim Alhimidi, 49, was declared guilty of first-degree murder in the beating death of his wife two years ago.
This afternoon, April 17, judge William McGrath was confirming the verdict with jurors when the defendant’s eldest son, seated in the gallery, leaped to his feet and shouted, “This is bullshit!” and cursed the court and loudly continued in a stream of Arabic.
Jurors were hurriedly escorted out a door behind the judge, and it took every one of at least nine bailiffs in the room to remove overwrought family members who could not contain themselves.
Alhimidi’s eldest son was reportedly taken away in handcuffs.
The murdered woman, Shaima Alawadi, 32, was found in a pool of blood on the floor of her El Cajon home in March 2012. The victim’s mother was in the courtroom today, and when the newly convicted murderer began to shout “God knows that I am not the killer,” the victim’s mother arose and shook her fists and shouted that he should get worse. The exchange was in Arabic.
A court-provided Arabic interpreter explained the unruly back-and-forth to news reporters in the hallway after the courtroom was cleared. The interpreter also assisted the bereaved mother when she told news cameras that if they were in Iraq, the killer would be executed in the same way that he murdered her daughter.
Shaima Alawadi was killed by multiple blows to her skull with a blunt object, according to testimony during the two-week trial.
Prosecutor Kurt Mechals expressed gratitude to the jury, “They did exactly the right thing.” He also said, “My opinion is, everybody in the family knows this is the right verdict, even if they don’t want to believe it.”
Judge McGrath went back into session briefly, just long enough to set a sentencing date of May 15, in San Diego’s East County Superior Courthouse.