FOX16.com

Murder trial to stay in Pulaski County courts

The man charged with killing a soldier in Little Rock will not see his case moved to federal court. A judge said "no" to a motion from attorneys for Abdulhakim Muhammad who say the attack outside a recruiting station was an act of war.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The man charged with killing a soldier in Little Rock will not see his case moved to federal court. A judge said "no" to a motion from attorneys for Abdulhakim Muhammad who say the attack outside a recruiting station was an act of war.

25-year old Abdulhakim Muhammad appeared in court Tuesday much thinner, with longer hair, and clearly irritated. His attorneys entered a not-guilty plea on a new allegation that Muhammad attacked a Pulaski County jailer back in October.

But Muhammad did not make it easy. He called his attorney liars in court and asked to plead guilty to all his criminal charges.

His attorneys, for the first time in court, called the Memphis native a terrorist.

"Those things that come out in court, sometimes I feel like I'm not able to talk about outside of court," said Muhammad’s attorney Claiborne Ferguson. "We'll discuss that with the jury at the appropriate time."

Ferguson argued his client was committed to waging war against military personnel, so his case should be moved to federal court and handled by U.S. Attorney Jane Duke's office. The judge disagreed, keeping the case in Pulaski County.

"I think Larry Jegley's office is perfectly capable of trying a murder case and it’s what they do and do well," Duke said after the hearing. "I feel quite confident in their abilities to handle this matter."

As prosecutors talked with the family of Pvt. William Long about the upcoming trial, the defense says Muhammad is now showing signs of a complete mental breakdown.

"It’s become more and more difficult in order to manage the defense on this case," Ferguson says. "It's something we're not unfamiliar with but it is something we have to address as early as possible so it doesn't become a bigger issue than it already is."

The defense also wanted to compel the FBI to testify about what it knew about Muhammad before his shooting. The judge said he doesn't have the authority to make the FBI turn anything over.

Abdulhakim Muhammad is charged with capital murder for the death of Private William Long in June of 2009. If convicted he could receive the death penalty. The trial is set to begin February 23rd.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

Weather Right Now

60°F
Mostly Cloudy
High: 60°F
Low: 38°F

7 day forecast