Mohamud convicted of murdering stepson

Oct 18, 2012

A jury this afternoon convicted the Buffalo man who has been standing trial for the beating death of his 10-year-old stepson.

Jurors took less than three hours to find 41-year-old Ali-Mohamad Mohamud guilty of second-degree murder, after closing arguments were presented this morning. 

The defendant's stepson, Abdifatah Mohamud, was beaten about 70 times with a wooden rolling pin last April 17 in the basement of the family's Guilford Street home.  Many of those blows were to the boy's head.  A Medical Examiner likened the injuries to a fall from a four-story building onto concrete. 

Mohamud admitted to the brutal attack in a police confession that same day. Defense lawyer Kevin Spitler admitted the fatal beating, but argued there was no intent to kill, saying the stepfather was trying to control the son.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita praised the work of police in probing the death and the work of his prosecutors in putting the case together and presenting it to the jury.

"The evidence was very solid. I think the Buffalo Police Department Homicide Squad conducted an excellent investigation and I think that Tom Finnerty and John Feroleto, the two prosecutors on the case, did an incredibly professional job representing the interests of the people of the State of New York, the citizens of this county, and Abdi, the victim," said Sedita, following the verdict Thursday afternoon.

Both father and son are from the growing Somali immigrant community. Sedita says some rules are the same no matter where people live or what are their cultural values.

"When you, so brutally, beat and assault and ultimately murder a child, I think, in any culture at any time in history, that is the most taboo and criminally sanctioned conduct you could have."

Mohamud faces a sentence of 25-years-to-life in prison. He will be sentenced November 15.