WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The man accused of killing two people in Howland during a shooting on his property butted heads with the prosecutor during his arraignment on Thursday.
Nasser Hamad is facing two counts of capital murder and six counts of attempted murder charges with gun specifications.
During a hearing Thursday, Hamad questioned whether Prosecutor Chris Becker was Jewish and then accused him of threatening his son.
“He came to pick someone up and he threatened my son,” Hamad told the judge.
“I got big family. Big attorneys, gonna make this guy look like a joke. Comin’ for you. You like that PR? I’m gonna give you PR,” he later told the prosecutor.
Video – Victim’s father: “I’d rather die”
Hamad is accused of shooting five people, killing 20-year-old Joshua Williams and 19-year-old Josh Haber. Prosecutors said Hamad had challenged the group to a fight, asking them to come to his house. They said after a confrontation, he then went into the house, got his gun and fired shots at the vehicle, striking five people.
Police said Hamad was dating Tracy Hendrickson, the mother of Bryce Hendrickson — one of the victims who was injured. They said an ongoing fight between the family and Hamad prompted the shooting.
Video – “He sprayed everybody in the car with the bullets”
Geoffrey Oglesby, an attorney who stood in for Hamad’s arraignment, said the charges filed against Hamad were due to his ethnicity.
“It appears to be a situation of a person standing their ground, and the question is, can minorities stand their ground like other people? And it seems like when minorities stand their ground, they get charged,” he said. “And it appears to be, I hate to say it, based on his ethnicity in this particular case, and it’s truly unfortunate. But, we feel that he’ll be exonerated.”
Video – Attorney: Charges against
Hamad were filed due to his ethnicity
Hamad, who showed up with his arm in a cast and a Band-aid on his head, proclaimed his innocence at Thursday’s hearing. He told the judge that he was protecting himself before the judge cautioned him against speaking out in the courtroom.
“I seen weapons, guns, these people been bothering me. I kept my mouth shut. You know, things gotta happen. They lived around the corner from me, your Honor. I was defending myself on my own property here,” he said.
Video – “He’s gonna get what he gets in prison”
Bryce Hendrickson’s father, Brian, said he was shocked that the situation escalated so quickly.
“After the fight was over, why not go in the house, call the cops, get the license plate number? Don’t come out and unload two clips on young babies, young kids and a mom,” he said.
Brian said Bryce has a long road to recovery, having several surgeries and will probably need more.
Hamad also complained about his representation by a public defender, saying Oglesby would represent him during the arraignment.
A judge revoked Hamad’s bond. He is scheduled to appear again in court on March 30.
Video – Howland murder suspect speaks out in court, attorney claims self-defense