Judge sentences convicted murderer Nasser Hamad to 36 years in p - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Judge sentences convicted murderer Nasser Hamad to 36 years in prison

WARREN, Ohio -

A Trumbull County judge sentenced Nasser Hamad to prison on Thursday afternoon. 

On Wednesday, jurors returned a verdict saying that the prosecutors had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the aggravated circumstances outweighed the factors surrounding the deadly shooting. 

The jury declined a death penalty sentence and instead suggested life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years on the two aggravated murder charges. 

Judge Ronald Rice took the jury's suggestion, saying that the sentence of 30 years to life was fair in his opinion. 

Judge Rice ordered that Hamad serve life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years for the two aggravated murders charges, in addition, a three-year firearm specification was added to each charge. 

Those firearm charges must be served prior to the life sentence. In total, Hamad will spend at least 36 years behind bars before the possibility of parole. 

Judge Rice also sentenced Hamad to an additional 14 years in prison for each charge of attempted murder. However, since Judge Rice ruled that the sentences will be served concurrently, they do not add more time to the sentence.

At the start of Thursday's sentencing, Hamad spoke out saying that he was not happy with the verdict. 

Hamad said that his legal representation had not done their job and that they had not presented any evidence that he had given them in order to prove his case. 

"I wasn't represented right," he said. 

Hamad was convicted of on two charges of aggravated murder, and several counts of attempted aggravated murder last week following his trial in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

Investigators say Hamad fatally shot 19-year-old Josh Haber and 20-year-old Joshua Williams during a confrontation outside his Niles-Cortland Road home on February 25.

Forty-three-year-old April Trent and 20-year-old Bryce Hendrickson were seriously injured in the shooting. A 17-year-old boy was not seriously harmed.

During Thursday's sentencing, two of the victims' families wrote letters to Judge Rice asking him to take their son's into consideration during the sentencing. 

The family of Josh Williams wrote "we were handed a life sentence of pain and agony" and "we still have nightmares of our son riddled with bullets."

Josh Haber's family said that they are trying hard to find closure and have faith in the justice system. 

Bryan Hendrickson, the father of Bryce, also stepped up to make a statement, saying that his son committed suicide because of the shooting, and the grief he felt from losing his friends. 

Hamad himself addressed Judge Rice before the sentence was handed down saying, "People will be appalled when I get the right counsel and the evidence comes out."

He continued by claiming that his attorneys did not do their jobs, present the evidence he gave them, or fight to allow his testimony to be presented. 

Hamad claimed that the witnesses and the victims who presented testimony were given coaching in order to fit their stories around the law. 

During the course of his statements, Hamad said that he plans to appeal the case, and asked Judge Rice to appoint an attorney to his case for the appeals process.

Following the recommendation from the jury, attorneys on both sides were finally able to speak out regarding the case. 

Assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor Chris Becker says that they will ask the judge to make the sentences consecutive, meaning that Hamad would not be eligible for parole hearings for at least 60 years. 

Becker said that the prosecutor's office is very happy with the decision of the jury. 

"The hard part was to determine what penalty to give the defendant in this case," said Becker. "Speaking to the jurors, I know they advised me that at one point they were nine to three in favor of the death penalty. And it's a difficult to make for any jury to impose the death penalty."

Hamad's attorneys said they plan to appeal the case and will attempt to file charges against victims. 

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