Prosecution: Man Drowned, Stabbed, Beat Stepson

October 15, 2012 Updated Oct 15, 2012 at 8:39 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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October 15, 2012 Updated Oct 15, 2012 at 8:39 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY - Prosecutors reveal new details in the beating death of 10-year-old Abdifatah Mohamud, in the opening statements in the trial of his stepfather.

A graphic and emotional trial for the jury has begun -- as they get ready to decide if Ali Mohamad Mohamud is guilty of second degree murder.

The prosecution says Mohamud beat his stepson, after drowning him in a bathtub and stabbing him in the arm.

Mohamud allegedly tied Abdifatah's hands together with an electrical chord, shoved a sock in his mouth and duct-taped it shut.

Prosecutor John Feroleto says Abdifatah "could not scream for help, could not yell out in pain. He was powerless to stop this man from taking his life."

The prosecution called several witnesses to corroborate that.

A neighbor, who saw Abdifatah run away, says she convinced him to go home. The neighbor says Mohamud claimed that Abdi ran away to get out of doing homework. The neighbor said that Abdi was afraid of his stepfather. When Mohamud promised not to hurt the boy, Abdi said "you always say that."

Abdi's emotional mother also testified, saying she brought Abdi from Somalia to America for a better life.

After getting home from work, she saw Mohamud with his bags packed. Mohamud allegedly drove off after saying that Abdifatah had climbed out the window and run away.

Abdi's mother then called Buffalo police to report a missing child, but added she feared for her son's life.

Abdi's brother later found his body in the basement.

Mohamud's work supervisor at The Buffalo News also testified. Louis Yoseph says he got a call from Mohamud at around 10:45 at night on April 17th. Mohamud asked Yoseph to meet him at work.

While at work, Mohamud allegedly laid out cash and other items, telling a nervous Yoseph to give the money to Mohamud's son -- not his wife.

Mohamud then allegedly told Yoseph "I got so many problems. I killed my kid."

A short time later, police arrested Mohamud at The Buffalo News.

Detective Michael Mordino also begin his testimony. Mordino said he walked down the stairs to the basement and saw blood stained footprints. He also found two damp rolling pins and a steak knife.

The prosecution says Abdifatah's injuries were so severe that the back of his skull opened and separated from his spinal column.

Prosecutors say he had injuries everywhere on his body -- some in self-defense.

However, defense attorneys say Mohamud denies the allegations.

Lana Tupchik told the jury "What you just heard proves nothing, except prosecution intent, their own beliefs and hopes" during opening statements.

During cross-examination, witnesses said Mohamud was involved with keeping track of his kids school work.

Witnesses also said that Abdifatah had run away before.

Mohamud's former boss also testified he seemed to be trustworthy enough to be put in an overnight security position.