Saturday, November 3, 2007

Former City Man Convicted Of Double Murder In Florida

Former City Man Convicted Of Double Murder In Florida

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Khalid Ali Pasha
A former Michigan City man convicted of a bank robbery here in 1984 was found guilty Wednesday of a double murder in Tampa, Fla.

Khalid Ali Pasha, 64, now faces a second phase of the trial in which the jury will decide if he should face lethal injection or life in prison.

The jury returned guilty verdicts on two counts of first-degree murder after 90 minutes of deliberation. Afterward, Pasha told Hillsborough County Judge William Fuente he didn't want to be present for the penalty phase, which begins today, and didn't want his attorneys to bother arguing on his behalf, the Tampa Tribune reported Wednesday.

Defense attorney Robert Fraser said to him in court, "What you are doing, Mr. Pasha, is tantamount to suicide," the newspaper reported. Ultimately, he was persuaded to go forward with his defense.

Pasha's previous attempts to defend himself caused the case to drag on for five years since he was arrested in the slayings of his wife and her daughter in 2002. The victims were Robin Renee Canady, 43, and Renesha Singleton, 20.

Their throats were slashed while they were in a car police found crashed into a wall in a business center in Tampa on Aug. 23, 2002. The bodies were taken from the car and dragged some 15 feet from the pavement into a wooded area, according to police reports.

Police were called when Pasha was seen running in the area covered with blood. Witnesses followed Pasha, who left the scene driving a van, and guided police to the vehicle.

Police found blood on his tank-top shirt and pants, and saw other bloody clothing inside.

While Pasha did not testify or call any witnesses, he did offer explanations to police the night he was arrested. Police said they noticed he was sweating profusely, and he said he dropped his girlfriend off and decided to run for a workout. Police also said Pasha tried to explain the bloody clothes by telling them he threw a rock at a rabbit and killed it. He said he got the blood on his clothing because he picked up the rabbit and threw it in the woods.

When police searched the woods, however, they found the bodies of the two women in the woods.

Pasha was convicted of robbery for a holdup at the Citizens Bank branch on East Michigan Boulevard in Trail Creek on March 27, 1984. He and an accomplice were captured 34 minutes later at U.S. 421 and Kieffer Road.

Before he was sentenced, Pasha and two other men escaped from the fifth floor of La Porte County Jail, but were captured the next day. Pasha was sentenced to 20 years on the robbery charge, plus another 30 for being convicted of being a habitual criminal. He was facing an escape charge, but that was never pursued, and the habitual criminal charge conviction was vacated after an earlier robbery charge was overturned.

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