Convicted Murderer Sentenced to Life in Prison

October 21, 2008 3:16:40 PM PDT
A judge sentenced 27-year-old Ramadan Abdullah to life in prison. Abdullah was convicted by the same judge of shooting and killing Deputy Erik Telen in 2001. With Monday's sentence, Abdullah will likely live his remaining life in prison. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Abdullah's defense team always maintained Abdullah should be treated for a severe mental illness instead of punished. The judge handed down the harshest punishment he could but also recommended treatment.

Shelley Wiens is the widow of Erik Telen. She shared her feelings in court and said, "He took the father that my son never had the chance to see and the father my two girls know now in pictures." Wiens still struggles talking about her murdered husband. She showed a montage of pictures for everyone to see including Abdullah. He glanced at the photos showing a happy father with his children. Bethanie is Telen's eldest surviving daughter. Bethanie said, "I wish he were here to see how I've gotten bigger. I hope some day Ramadan asks Jesus into his heart so he could meet my daddy and know how he was really good dad."

In September, Judge Ralph Nunez convicted Abdullah of murdering the Fresno County Deputy. The district attorney dropped the death penalty because Abdullah dropped his insanity defense. During sentencing on Monday, Defense Attorney Pete Jones asked a judge to consider a legal maneuver allowing Abdullah to possibly be paroled. Jones said, "Mr. Abdullah suffers from schizophrenia and it's a life time illness. He needs treatment and I hope and pray he will get that treatment." Judge Nunez denied the request and sentenced Abdullah to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Nunez did recommend housing Abdullah in a secure psychiatric facility but Abdullah will never be a free man: exactly what the deputy's wife wanted. Wiens said, "I believe that we all have choices in this life. And when you make the choice to kill, you deprive yourself of the right to live freely."

Abdullah's defense team may file an appeal. His family did not appear in court, and the convicted murder never said anything or showed emotion. But his attorneys have constantly said Abdullah is remorseful for the murder.

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