Jury Finds Mohamud Guilty of Murdering Stepson

October 18, 2012 Updated Oct 18, 2012 at 7:02 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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October 18, 2012 Updated Oct 18, 2012 at 7:02 PM EDT


Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - After just three hours of deliberating, a jury finds Ali Mohamad Mohamud guilty of murdering his 10-year-old stepson, Abdifatah Mohamad.

The jury was made up of eight men and four women.

After they announced finding Mohamud guilty of second degree murder, Abdifatah's family left the courtroom and embraced.

It was a relief for prosecutors too.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita said "How do beat a boy with a rolling pin nearly 70 times and cause the devastating injuries that this defendant caused? I don't see how there's any reasonable person that could manifest this is just the intent to hurt you."

Mohamud beat 10-year-old Abdifatah to death with a 20-inch rolling pin. That was after stabbing, strangling and trying to drown the boy. Abdifatah suffered extensive external and internal injuries.

Mohamud confessed to police, his work supervisor and in a letter to his wife. In a statement, he told police "he was lying to me everyday, I killed him."

However, that is what the defense maintains that this was corporal punishment gone horribly wrong.

Kevin Spitler, Mohamud's defense attorney, said "He's been remorseful from the first day I met him. He's been constantly remorseful."

Spitler has argued behind closed doors that his client is guilty of manslaughter, and suffered from Extreme Emotional Disturbance.

However, because the argument was not revealed until after the trial began, Judge Christopher Burns did not allow it to be introduced to the jury.

Spitler plans to appeal the verdict, saying it would "determine if there were any mistakes made in the course of the proceedings."

Despite graphic videos, pictures and testimony, the District Attorney's office says it took a close look at the evidence to make sure it would not be considered too much for the jury to handle.

After the verdict was read, Mohamud was taken back to his jail cell. The next step is his sentencing hearing. Sedita says "I hope this defendant dies in prison. That's where he deserves to die."

Sedita says his office plans to ask for the maximum penalty: 25 years to life in prison.

The minimum sentence would be 15 years to life in prison.