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Criminal Court hands man death penalty in decapitation case

By Rana Husseini - Dec 18,2018 - Last updated at Dec 18,2018

AMMAN — The Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced a 29-year-old man to death after convicting him of murdering and decapitating his mother in Amman in November of 2016.

 “The court hereby sentences you to death for the murder you committed, and I would like to inform you that you do not benefit from any reductions in penalty, because one of your family members refused to drop charges against you,” Judge Ibrahim Abu Shamma said.

The defendant, who was surrounded by police officers in the court’s cage, did not react or make any comments upon hearing his verdict read out in court by the presiding judge, Shamma.

The suspect was standing trial on charges of murdering and decapitating his mother, while at their home in the capital’s Tabarbour area on November 3.

Court-appointed lawyer Fdayel Abbadi told The Jordan Times, following the conclusion of the 10-minute court session, that he would appeal the verdict.

“I will appeal the verdict at the Court of Cassation because my client was unaware of what he was doing then, and today I do not think that he understood what was going on in court,” Abbadi said.

The lawyer had asked the court almost a year ago to refer his client to the National Institute of Psychiatric Medicine (NIPM), after the defendant showed some odd behaviours in previous court sessions and after hearing testimonies from two of his brothers.

The defendant had previously climbed up the bars of his cell, and started making strange noises and uttering words that could not be understood.

However, the court last week ruled that the victim was mentally competent to stand trial after receiving a government report from NIPM that the defendant was “sane and fit to stand trial”.

 According to the prosecution’s charge sheet, the defendant believed that “his mother was his enemy and that she ruined his life”.

A few days before the incident, the charge sheet added, the defendant “bought an axe and took it to a butcher to sharpen it, telling the owner that his mother wanted the axe to cut meat”.

“On the day of the incident, the defendant waited until his mother returned home and attacked her with the knife and axe, cutting her head off,” the court documents said.

After murdering his mother, the prosecution maintained, “he gouged out her eyeballs and fled”. 

The defendant, who has a criminal record, was reportedly wanted in connection with a number of drug-related cases and was believed to have been using synthetic cannabis (also known as “joker”).
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the murder charges, but pleaded guilty to possessing a sharp weapon in a previous court session.

Criminal Court Prosecutor Ahmad Kinani had asked the court to impose the maximum punishment on the defendant.

During previous court hearings, some of the defendant’s siblings testified that “the defendant was a drug addict and would often behave in a strange way”.

The witnesses told the court that their mother, the victim, “took the defendant to a sheikh to see if he was possessed by a demon”.
On another occasion, the witnesses told the court, the defendant was sent by his family to a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts “where he spent 21 days”.

A final attempt was made by the victim and the witnesses to take the defendant to the NIPM, “but the attending physicians there refused to receive him, saying there was no need”, the two siblings told the court.

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