Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 15, 2012

Mother's final goodbye opens trial in child's beating death

Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — The mother of a 10-year-old boy who was brutally killed covered her face with her hands and slumped forward, sobbing, as she described for a jury the last time she saw her son before his body was found gagged and beaten in the basement of their home. Her husband, the boy's stepfather, went on trial Monday for murder.

"He told me, 'Bye, Mom,'" Shukri Bile said through tears after walking prosecutor Thomas Finnerty through her final hour with her son, Abdifatah Mohamud. She described how the fifth-grader had arrived home from Grover International Preparatory School at about 3 p.m., changed out of his uniform, ate pasta and then said goodbye when she went to his bedroom on her way out to her second-shift cleaning job at a downtown Buffalo office building on April 17.

That evening, Ali-Mohamed Mohamud stabbed the child known as Abdi with a kitchen knife, gagged him with a sock, duct-taped his mouth shut, bound his hands with an electrical cord and beat him nearly 70 times with a wooden rolling pin, at one point stopping to switch out socks because the boy had vomited, Assistant District Attorney John Feroleto said during opening statements in Mohamud's second-degree murder trial.

"Abdi ran away, I'm leaving," Mohamud told Bile when she arrived home from work around 10:45 p.m., the prosecutor said. Police responding to the mother's report of a missing child found him on the floor of the blood-spattered basement. The 94-pound child's ribs were broken, his lungs and kidneys damaged and his fractured skull had been struck with enough force to separate it from the spinal column, Feroleto said.

Mohamud was arrested a short time later at The Buffalo News, where he worked as a security guard. He confessed in detail to police, the prosecutor said.

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