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Jurors to consider death or life in prison for Al-Amin

Amin
The jury found Al-Amin guilty of all 13 counts against him.  


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Jurors are expected to begin considering Monday a death sentence or life in prison for a former 1960s black power radical found guilty of murdering a sheriff's deputy.

The penalty phase of the trial of Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, is expected to last a week.

The jury deliberated for 10 hours over two days before finding Al-Amin, 58, guilty of Saturday of shooting and killing Deputy Ricky Kinchen and wounding Deputy Aldranon English on a southwest Atlanta street in March 2000.

Defense lawyers, who say Al-Amin was a victim of mistaken identification, are expected to emphasize the good Al-Amin has done in his West End neighborhood since moving there in the 1970s.

Wearing a white robe and cap, Al-Amin -- formerly known as H. Rap Brown --showed no emotion Saturday as Superior Court Judge Stephanie Manis read the verdict.

Jurors found him guilty on all 13 counts he faced, including murder, felony murder, aggravated assault on a police officer, obstructing a law enforcement officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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Watch the judge read the verdict against Jamil Al-Amin in an Atlanta, Georgia, courtroom (March 9)

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The jury returned the verdict about 5:30 p.m. after deliberating throughout the day.

Al-Amin ran a small grocery store in Atlanta until March 16, 2000. That day, two Fulton County deputies attempted to serve a warrant for Al-Amin's failure to appear in court on charges of receiving stolen property and impersonating an officer.

The deputies exchanged gunfire with a man standing near a black Mercedes-Benz, and a spokesman that day said the deputies might have wounded the man who shot at them.

Kinchen died the day after being shot. The surviving officer, English, identified Al-Amin as the shooter in court.

Al-Amin's lawyers argued their client was innocent and that another man, known only as "Mustafa," did the shooting.

They told jurors that Al-Amin's fingerprints were not found on the murder weapon; he was not wounded in the shooting, as one of the deputies said the shooter was; and that the government has been out to get him for several decades.

Al-Amin was arrested in Lowndes County, Alabama, about 175 miles southwest of Atlanta, four days after the shooting.

His arrest followed a manhunt that started with a blood trail at the scene. After police entered a vacant house where they thought they had cornered the shooter, they found more signs that the assailant may have been wounded. But Al-Amin was unhurt when arrested.

Prosecutors noted in their closing arguments that Al-Amin's attorneys' failed to provide an alibi for their client. They also reminded jurors that ballistics had matched the bullets in the victim to the guns recovered from where Al-Amin was arrested.

Police also found a rifle and handgun near his arrest location, and tests indicated they were the weapons that wounded Kinchen, a local newspaper reported. Ten days later, they also found a black Mercedes with bullet holes in it.

Three months later, an Atlanta fugitive captured in Nevada confessed to killing Kinchen. He later recanted that statement.



 
 
 
 


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