Shooting suspects headed to trial

Photo by Daniel Heraty


Amaar Al-Saady (center) and Antonnie Ray (right) stand next to Al-Saady’s attorney, Larry Polk (left), in 20th District Court Oct. 19 before a preliminary examination based on the evidence against him relating to a Sept. 14 shooting that left a Dearborn Heights resident dead.

By DANIEL HERATY
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — Two men charged in a fatal shooting of a Dearborn Heights man will stand trial on charges of first-degree murder following a preliminary examination based on the evidence against them Oct. 19.

Detroit residents Antonnie Ray, 19, and Amaar Al-Saady, 34, will face charges including felony murder, home invasion, felonious assault, felony firearm possession, assault with intent to commit great bodily harm and unlawful imprisonment. A charge of armed robbery was dismissed at the examination due to lack of testimony.

The pair were ordered to stand trial by 20th District Court Judge Mark Plawecki. Both suspects will be arraigned in 36th District Court in Detroit today.

According to published reports, Al-Saady and Ray allegedly entered the home of Mashin Al-Uglah about 8 p.m. Sept. 14 to collect on an unpaid debt. The pair allegedly cut the power to the house to draw Al-Uglah out. They then allegedly forcibly entered the house and assaulted Al-Uglah.

According to testimony from the victim’s 11-year-old son, Al-Uglah was shot following a struggle with Al-Saady, during which the gun discharged.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Carin Godfarb argued that the circumstantial evidence brought forward by Al-Uglah’s son and widow doesn’t matter. She said evidence of the close proximity between the two and the pair’s location, determined by a trace of Al-Saady’s cell phone number by the FBI, who assisted in the case, was enough to create a probable cause case against Al-Saady.

The Detroit-based attorney for Al-Saady, Larry Polk, argued that there was not enough credible testimony from Al-Uglah’s son or wife, Tamara Al-Jabary, to determine if Al-Saady committed the crimes, saying that the son’s testimony had too many inconsistencies and that Al-Jabary’s testimony did not positively identify Al-Saady.

“She stated allegedly that he pulled the gun on the child, that he must have been Arabic or Eastern, and that’s how she makes her identification,” Polk said, “nothing that is concrete in terms on any identification of my client.”

The Westland-based attorney for Ray, Evan Callanan Jr., said that a statement given to the Dearborn Heights Police Department after the incident proves only that he was in the same area, not that he was involved, therefore the felony murder charge should be dropped.

Polk also questioned the validity of testimony by Al-Saady’s former girlfriend, Terri Oliver, who said she saw Al-Saady at 7 p.m. the day of the shooting and didn‘t see him again until 5 a.m. the next day. She also said he gave her a purse similar to the one stolen from the house.

“There’s no way in the world that there’s only one purse that fits the general description that was given,” Polk said. “There’s nothing on (the court’s) record that even begins to suggest that the purse that young lady came in here with was the purse that belongs to (Al-Jabary).”

Plawecki agreed with the prosecution, saying there is enough evidence to move forward with a trial.

“Taken individually, I think that wouldn’t have made the case,” he said. “But taken all together, they certainly met the standard (of proof).”

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at dheraty@bewickpublications.com.)