Prosecutor to add charges in Mich. serial stabbings case; defense expects murder charge

Friday, September 17, 2010

Murder charge expected in Mich. serial stabbings

DETROIT — A man suspected in a series of stabbings in Michigan and two other states will likely be charged with murder next week, his lawyer said Friday.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said he would hold a news conference on Monday to announce new charges against Elias Abuelazam, but he declined to discuss them until then.

Abuelazam’s lawyer, Brian Morley, told The Associated Press that he understands the case against his client will greatly expand to include at least one murder charge and three to four charges of assault with intent to murder.

“I’ve been anticipating additional charges,” Morley said. “Now that they’re here, I want to look at the police reports and figure out what we’re facing and what defenses are available.”

Fourteen males were stabbed — five fatally — in a series of attacks between spring and early August in the Flint area, about 60 miles north of Detroit.

So far, Abuelazam is charged in just one case, the attempted murder of a 26-year-old man. He was arrested on Aug. 11 while trying to travel to Israel, his native country, and is being held in the county jail.

Abuelazam, 33, also is a suspect in two stabbings and a hammer attack in Virginia and a stabbing in Ohio. He has not been charged in either state.

The victims in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia were males, ages 15 to 67. Most were black, but investigators don’t know whether race was a motive.

Abuelazam didn’t spend much time in Flint, where he moved this year into a house owned by an uncle. He was working at a convenience store until Aug. 1 when he told co-workers that he was off to Virginia.

Abuelazam, who grew up in Israel in a small Arab Christian community in Ramle, had previously lived in the Leesburg, Va., area.

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