NEW LEXINGTON – A 35-year-old Columbus man has been sentenced to serve eight to 10-1/2 years in prison for shooting a teenaged girl – by his account unintentionally – in New Lexington on Jan. 21.
Mustafa Abdos-Saboor Id-deen was indicted on Feb. 26 by a Perry County grand jury, on second-degree felony charges of felonious assault and improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation. The charges, filed in Perry County Common Pleas Court, both included firearm specifications.
On July 22 Id-deen appeared in court with his attorney and announced that he would plead guilty to the felonious assault charge. As part of a plea agreement, the Perry County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to enter a nolle prosequi (a decision not to pursue prosecution) on the other felony count.
The charge Id-deen pled to carries a mandatory three years in prison because he used a firearm, and the court was required to then add an indeterminate prison term to that three years, with the minimum additional prison term being two years and the maximum eight years. The court gave him five to seven-and-a-half years in addition to the three-year minimum for the gun specification.
On Aug. 20 defense attorney Robert F. Krapenc submitted a sentencing memorandum, arguing for a sentence “at the low end of the available range.” In the memorandum the attorney maintained that Id-deen had shot the teen unintentionally, when he fired on a man he thought he was shooting at him and a woman he was with.
According to Krapenc’s account of the incident Id-deen had driven from his home in Columbus to New Lexington on Jan. 20 to meet a woman he had first met online. He spent the day with the woman, and met her brother and her 11-year-old daughter, the account says.
The next day, while Id-deen and the woman were driving around, according to the memorandum, the woman pointed out a young girl walking down the street and told Id-deen she had been bullying her daughter at school. Id-deen then stopped his vehicle and warned the girl to stop the bullying.
Later that day, Krapenc relates, the woman’s brother phoned her to report that two men had been pounding on the door of their home, asking “who the black man was that was with” her. Id-deen and the woman returned to the home and saw two men leaving the area. The men approached Id-deen’s vehicle, one of them demanding to know “who is this black dude who is bad-mouthing my daughter.” Id-deen got out, and an argument ensued, but no physical violence. The parties separated and Id-deen and the woman drove off.
They had gone only about half a block, the memorandum says, when they were stopped by a woman waving her arms in the middle of the road and challenging by name the woman who was with Id-deen. She got out of the vehicle and approached the woman in the road, who produced a knife. Id-deen got out, another argument took place, and the woman with Id-deen returned to the vehicle.
As they were driving away a second time, id-deen saw “a flash of light” from outside on the passenger side of the vehicle, and heard and felt something hitting the side of the vehicle. “Believing that they were being shot at, Mustafa slammed on the brakes, grabbed his gun and got out of the vehicle,” the memorandum states. (Krapenc notes that Id-deen possessed the weapon legally, and had a concealed carry permit.)
Id-deen saw a man between two houses, and believing the man had been shooting at them and was about to continue, he began firing in the man’s direction “as fast as he could.” He missed the man, the memorandum says, but several bullets entered a nearby home and injured a 13-year-old girl (earlier police reports give her age as 14).
Id-deen returned to the vehicle and told the woman to call 911. They then drove to her home, gave the gun to her brother, and returned to the scene of the shooting, where Id-deen was arrested.
In arguing for a less harsh sentence, Krapenc notes a number of factors in his client’s favor, including the fact that he acted “under strong provocation,” in the form of the two confrontations that took place just before the shooting; that he believed he was acting in self-defense against someone shooting at him and the woman he was with (though Krapenc acknowledges that Id-deen’s actions don’t meet the legal requirements for self-defense); and that “from the very beginning (he) has shown genuine remorse” for having shot the girl.
The memorandum quotes from a written statement Id-deen gave to police: “I shot this little girl. I didn’t see her. I never saw her. I shot into darkness. I shot someone I was told a little girl. I have a little girl. I want to give my energy for this family to heal from this.”