Shareef sentenced to life in prison

Abdullah Shareef

March 23, 2010 9:20:09 PM PDT
A jury decided Tuesday that Abdullah Shareef will spend the rest of his life in prison.A judge turned over sentencing to the jury on Monday. Jurors spent 12 hours deliberating Shareef's guilt and it took them about as long to decide his sentence.

Five people were run down by Shareef during his 40 mile-long road rage rampage in April 2004. One man, Lonel Bass, was killed.

Tuesday afternoon his widow told Shareef he killed her too.

"You might as well have murdered two people that morning, because my life has been the same since that day, I don't know what to do no more," Joan Bass said.

Shareef claimed he was insane at the time, but last week jurors found him guilty of capital murder and attempted murder.

Victim Gary Weller waited six years to speak directly to the man who left him crippled.

"Yeah, you are going to prison for the rest of your life, but you know what life is good ok," Weller said. "You put these other families in a prison too. I'm in a wheelchair the rest of my life."

Shareef just sat and listened. Many of the jurors who unanimously sentenced him to life in prison listened too and cried as Margaret McCaskill told Shareef she and the other victims and families forgave him.

"We were hoping that you would get life in prison because we are praying that you will have a change of heart in prison," McCaskill said.

Shareef's family was relieved too.

"We didn't want him released into society because he was sick, he needs help and we wanted him to get help."Shareef's brother Wali Shareef said.

Jurors left the courthouse late Tuesday saying they didn't want to talk about their verdict or deliberations.

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