By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
A jury on Tuesday declared Naveed Haq guilty of murder in his second trial for the 2006 shooting spree at a Seattle Jewish center.
Haq was found guilty of all eight counts against him. The 34-year-old man will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Haq showed no reaction as the verdict was read, but victims in the courtroom hugged and clasped hands.
"I just need to get my breath," victim Cheryl Stumbo said.
Haq's first trial ended last year with jurors deadlocked on whether he was legally insane during the shooting spree on July 28, 2006, that left one woman dead and five others injured.
The eight counts against him included one count of aggravated first-degree murder; five counts of attempted first-degree murder; one count of unlawful imprisonment; and one count of malicious harassment, the state's hate-crime law.
Jurors on Tuesday rejected Haq's defense that he was not guilty by reason of insanity. His lawyers acknowledged that he committed the shooting but said his mental illness kept him from understanding what he was doing.
They also conceded he poses a danger to the public and should never be free, but asked jurors to send him to a state mental hospital rather than prison. They declined comment after the verdict.
Prosecutor Don Raz said he was pleased the verdict would bring closure to the victims.
Raz argued Haq wasn't insane - just angry - when he stormed the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.
"He was tired that no one was listening to the Muslim point of view. He wanted that point of view heard," Raz told jurors as Haq's second trial opened in October.
Haq drove from his eastern Washington home to Seattle the day of the attack and forced a teenage girl at gunpoint to let him into the Jewish Federation. Once in the second-floor office, he opened fire, shooting some people in their cubicles, some in the hall and one, Pamela Waechter, fatally as she fled down a stairwell.
Raz acknowledged Haq's history of mental illness but focused his opening statement on Haq's preparations in an effort to show that his mind was clear that day. A major difference between this trial and the first was the playing of jailhouse phone calls.
Haq made several trips to gun stores in the weeks prior to the attack, wrote two documents on his father's computer criticizing Israel and U.S. policy in the Middle East, and used MapQuest to find directions to the center from his family's home in Pasco, 180 miles (289 kilometers) east of Seattle.
In a recorded phone conversation after the shooting, Raz said, Haq told his mother, "I did a very good thing. I did it for a good reason."
She said, "I know you're not well," to which Haq replied: "Whatever, Mom."
One of Haq's lawyers, John Carpenter, argued that his client believed he could change the course of wars by attacking the Jewish Federation.
"There could be no defense for this act if it was borne by an undiseased mind," Carpenter said. "But it wasn't."
Carpenter described Haq's condition as psychizoaffective disorder with bipolar tendencies and said his troubles became worse when he studied at the University of Pennsylvania. He said his client would hear voices that called him a "loser" and a "homo."
Medication changes caused a serious deterioration of his mental state before the shooting, Carpenter said.
The shooting left one victim, Layla Bush, unable to walk. Carol Goldman has said she now volunteers at Harborview Medical Center, where the critically injured women were treated.
Then-pregnant Dayna Klein, who took a bullet in her arm as she protected her fetus, gave birth several months later to a healthy boy. On the day of the attack, she spoke to an emergency operator as Haq aimed his weapon at her.
Haq provided his name and federal social security number, ranted against Jews, asked to go on CNN, and suddenly said, "Here, I'll give myself up. This was just to make a point."
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