A man accused of shooting his roommate over a stolen television was found guilty of first-degree murder by a judge on Tuesday.
After a day of testimony, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Zina Cruse found Mohammed Abuharba guilty of the murder of William Harriel Jr.
Harriel was found dead with a single gunshot to the back of his head on Feb. 6, 2014. He was found in the middle of Amelia Drive in Parkfield Terrace near Cahokia.
Harriel’s girlfriend was on the phone with Harriel and heard an argument between Harriel and Abuharba just before the shooting, said St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Scott Weymouth.
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Abuharba was later charged with trying to arrange the murder of a witness in his case. That charge is pending.
Abuharba has been in the St. Clair County Jail since Feb. 10, 2014. He filed a federal lawsuit against the sheriff’s department complaining about the conditions of the jail. The suit stated the jail’s showers had insects, the toilets flushed on a timer, the toilets overflowed and paint chips landed in his food. He also alleged jail personnel retaliated against him by forcing him to sleep on the floor then moving him to the maximum security unit. That lawsuit is pending in federal court.
The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis investigated Harriel’s murder.
“I personally would like to thank the members of the Major Case Squad who dedicated numerous hours into the investigation leading to closure for the victim’s family,” Weymouth said.
Abuharba is scheduled to appear before Cruse on May 31 for sentencing. He faces 20 to 60 years in prison.