Saudi man denied bond in US murder case

2013-07-16 14:00


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Warrensburg — A Missouri judge denied bond for a 24-year-old Saudi man accused of hiring his roommate to kill a local bar owner, ruling on Monday that the former college student was unlawfully in the US and could be held in jail even though his home government put up $2m for his bond.

Circuit Judge Michael Wagner said no amount of sureties could guarantee that Ziyad Abid wouldn't be deported by the US government if he were released from jail. Abid had been living legally in the US while studying at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg but lost his student visa around the time of his 5 September arrest.

Abid and his former roommate, Reginald Singletary Jnr, are charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Warrensburg bar owner Blaine Whitworth. Prosecutors have released few details about the case, including what link Abid allegedly had to Whitworth, but Abid's attorneys said Abid had no connection to Whitworth and that Singletary had recently been fired as the bar's bouncer.

Bonds had been set for both men by Wagner's predecessor in the case, Circuit Judge Jacqueline Cook, who ruled in November that the Missouri Constitution required that Abid be allowed to post bond because he wasn't charged with capital murder. She set Abid's bond at $2m and Singletary's at $1m, but Wagner refused to release Abid after the Saudi government in April posted his bond amount.

In his ruling on Monday, Wagner said there were no guarantees that the federal government wouldn't deport Abid ahead of his trial.

"If deportation occurs, then the defendant will never be subject to the legal process of this Court to determine his guilt or innocence and, if convicted, held accountable under the law to this Court or to the family of the victim for his crime," Wagner wrote in his ruling.

Motion for speedy trial

Wagner also denied a request from Missouri Assistant Attorney General David Hansen, who is acting as the special prosecutor in the case, to delay Abid's 20 August trial date because he needs more time to prepare. Singletary's trial has been delayed until February.

Abid's attorneys told Wagner they filed a motion on Monday for a speedy trial, noting that Abid has already been in jail for 314 days.

Abid, who appeared in court Monday wearing a suit, has been in custody since he was charged in connection with the 1 September slaying of Whitworth, who was gunned down in his driveway. Singletary, aged 28, who had been living with Abid, admitted shooting Whitworth but told investigators Abid paid him to do it, according to court documents.

Abid's defence attorney Pat Peters said Singletary has refused to testify, but is negotiating with prosecutors on a possible plea deal, and without his cooperation the prosecution has no case.

"This may be the only case we can think of where one witness is the only linchpin on which everything else depends, and that's Mr. Singletary," Peters said. "We'd like to go to trial today. As of today, there is no witness for the state."

On Friday, defence attorneys again asked a Missouri appellate court to remove Wagner from the case and release Abid from jail. The court has not yet ruled on those requests.

Read more on:    saudi arabia  |  us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.