Garrett Harris 4 p.m., Jan. 16
Daughter testified in murder case against her father today
Iraqi man is accused of killing his wife, who wanted a divorce
Kassim Irzoqi Alhimidi made an emotional outburst today when his 18-year-old daughter entered the courtroom to give testimony. The judge almost halted proceedings before defense attorney Richard Berkon could speak to his client.
Fatima told the court that she is the eldest of five children by 49-year-old Kassim and her 32-year-old mother Shaima Alawadi, and that she was the one who discovered her mother’s bloody body the morning of March 21, 2012.
Fatima said she was awakened that morning by a small noise, “I kinda heard like a squeal.” Fatima said it was short and fast, “I thought like my mom was cooking and she touched something hot.” Fatima went back to sleep, in her upstairs bedroom, and was next awakened by the sound of glass shattering. “It sounded like a glass breaking.” It was after 11 a.m. when Fatima finally got out of bed. “I was hungry, so I went downstairs to have some breakfast.”
Fatima found her mother on the kitchen floor, tangled in a chair and computer wires, in a pool of blood. “I was in shock.” She phoned 911.
A sliding glass door at the rear of the home was found shattered, and forensic experts were unable to determine if it had been broken from the outside or inside, according to testimony today.
Fatima said that neither of her parents worked, but if her father “got a phone call,” he would leave home with a certain box that was filled with dates (the fruit), which he sold on demand.
“Yes, my mom wanted a divorce from my dad,” the pretty young woman told prosecutor Kurt Mechals. “She told me.” Not long before her fatal beating, Shaima Alawadi drove to a courthouse and got the legal paperwork to begin dissolution proceedings, while her daughter waited in the car, Fatima said. Was her father aware of this? “Yes, she showed him the papers.”
Fatima said her mother was planning to go to Texas, to spend time with her brother there, but was beaten to death just days before she was set to leave.
A county medical examiner testified that Shaima Alawadi was killed by blunt force trauma of her head and face.
Fatima’s father said that he threw two items from his van as he drove around the same morning that his wife was killed, the daughter revealed today. Fatima said those things were “shoes” and a “metal thing.” Her father explained to Fatima and her eldest brother that he was fearful police might become suspicious of him.
El Cajon police detective Christopher Baldwin said the suspect later told them he threw a “hammer” from his red 1996 Nissan Quest mini-van.
Alhimidi was arrested in November 2012. He pleads not-guilty to first-degree murder through his private attorney Richard Berkon.
The preliminary hearing will continue tomorrow morning, July 25, 2013, before the Honorable Judge Lantz Lewis, in San Diego’s East County Superior Courthouse.