Ramadan Abdullah's Fathers Emotional Testimony

April 8, 2008 8:08:23 PM PDT
A father offers chilling and emotional testimony about his son who is accused of murder. Ramadan Abdullah's father Mahdi Abdulla took the stand Tuesday morning to offer a glimpse into his son's mind. Mahdi fought back tears when he talked about his son. He said two months before the 2001 shooting that killed Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy Erik Telen, Ramadan lived at Binghamton, New York with his family.

Ramadan attended a camp at a nearby Muslim village when he started showing signs of a mental breakdown. Mahdi said, "He (Ramadan) was standing in a field, and he told me that he was Jesus ... Isa Ibn Mariyam ... which means Jesus the Son of Mary."

During that testimony, the defendant appeared to be smiling and laughing behind a stack of binders. His father said he knew his son had problems and even thought he was possessed. Mahdi said, "Mental illness is a term I don't normally use. That's not a term I would say mentally ill. Did I know he had a problem? I thought his problem was more spiritual than physical."

The defendant then came to a Muslim village in Tulare County named Baladullah. Abdullah's defense team admits Ramadan shot and killed Telen in August but attorneys claim he was insane at the time.

Mahdi said his son went to California to heal his mental issues-a decision he takes very personal. He said, "I wish I could have done more. I really wish I done more. I wish I could have avoided this whole thing by ... I don't know what I could have done more!"

The defense continues Wednesday presenting their case. They so far won't say if Ramadan Abdullah will testify during his trial. If convicted of first degree murder and found to be sane at the time, Abdullah could face the death penalty.


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