A Philadelphia jury was hung on Friday for the second time in the first-degree murder trial of a Philadelphia man accused of killing a 1-year-old boy. As a result, the defense has requested a mistrial, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Prosecutors accused Ziyad Abid of killing his fiancée’s son, Malcolm Harris, in December 2015 by repeatedly striking the boy’s head against a wooden table and using “reckless and intentional conduct” to kill him. Abid’s lawyer, Patrick Thomassey, pointed to a recorded conversation between Abid and his fiancée in which Abid said he was misquoted. Thomassey also told jurors that a knife found in the apartment they shared, which prosecutors believe was used to kill Harris, was never used, according to NBC Philadelphia.
Prosecutor Mark Porter argued Friday that prosecutors had an adequate explanation for how and why the knife had been in the house.
“There is no explanation. It was left there,” Porter said. “In the box of his belongings, which he never got rid of, in his backpack.”
He pointed to witnesses who said Abid would keep his knives “just in case,” and said Abid was a drug user, a “stoner,” who “rarely works.”
According to Philadelphia Magazine, Abid, who came to the United States from Pakistan in the late 1990s, has multiple prior felony charges, including possession of cocaine and cocaine with intent to deliver. He was twice charged with illegally transporting people and federal drug trafficking charges in federal court. He has served time for marijuana possession and violation of parole in both Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Two juries tried Abid, neither of which unanimously convicted him. The first deliberated for less than five hours before breaking for the weekend, and the second took two hours before deadlocking, according to the attorney’s office. On Thursday, a judge who presided over the first trial told the jurors not to consider one particular page of a journal in which Abid wrote about his initial remorse over killing the child. His second trial began Monday.
Read the full story at CBS Philly.
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