Elias Abuelazam serial killer stabbing 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
— An Israeli man suspected in a three-state stabbing spree in the US
was ordered to stand trial Friday on an attempted murder charge after a
survivor of a midnight knife attack described how he desperately fought
off his assailant, saying he "almost lost my life."During
a separate hearing, evidence was offered in another case, the death of
Frank Kellybrew, whose slaying in July convinced police that a serial
killer was likely on the loose, north of Detroit. A decision on whether
there's probable cause for a first murder trial won't come until after
prosecutors present more testimony, especially about DNA, on December 3.
first case to be sent to trial in the string of summer stabbings. Elias
Abuelazam, who was captured while trying to flee to Israel, is charged
with three murders and five attempted murders in the Flint area, an
attempted murder in Ohio, and suspected in attacks in Virginia.
Abuelazam was suspect in Israel
US: Israeli serial killer arrested
"This is an emotional case for all parties concerned," Judge John Conover said.
A few hours earlier in front of a different judge, Richard Booker
testified about the night of July 19, when he left home on foot to buy a
can of beer. He said Abuelazam asked for help to open a stubborn hood
on a Chevy Blazer.
"It all happened in a matter of seconds. He grabbed me around the neck
and stuck a huge knife in my liver," Booker said, stepping off the
witness stand to demonstrate on assistant prosecutor Tamara Phillips.
"I see him in my dreams every night," he said of Abuelazam.
Surrounded by six deputies and shackled at the belly, Abuelazam, 34, conferred with his lawyers during the testimony.
"I almost lost my life. ... God carried me home or something. I walked
or ran," Booker told Judge Richard Hughes, who found probable cause for
trial on attempted murder.
Defense attorney Brian Morley wasn't surprised by the decision, noting the evidence threshold at such hearings is very low.
Fourteen people were stabbed — five fatally — in the Flint area from May
to August. The victims were alone at night, and some who survived, like
Booker, said they were asked for help or directions before being
Morley aggressively cross-examined Flint Township police Detective Randy
Kimes after the officer disclosed that a man known to express racial
hatred was briefly considered a possible suspect in Kellybrew's death.
The man, however, was ruled out and released. Kellybrew was black.
It was his death that convinced police that a serial killer was in the area.
The stabbing "was something that got law enforcement to say, 'Hey, we've
got something here,'" Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said
recently. "That one was out in Flint Township. Some of the others had
been in the city. ... It became apparent what we had."