Somali Found Guilty of Murdering His Four Children in Louisville


For a mass murder case that has taken nearly five years to come to trial, the proceedings in Louisville came and went swiftly, in just four days. The trial of Somali Said Biyad began on Monday and the guilty verdict was delivered on Friday in a non-jury trial, which was the result of a plea agreement to take the death penalty off the table.

A person might think that the authorities wanted as little media attention as possible of a crime where four little children’s throats were slit by their Somali father. Nobody likes that kind of diversity, although there are certainly numerous unhappy immigrants acting out stresses through violence against their own relatives.

The family in question was settled as refugees to this country by Catholic Charities, as I noted in a 2006 blog item, Somali Mass Murder in Kentucky.

Judge rules Biyad guilty of killing his four children, Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro), April 22, 2011

Said Biyad is guilty of murdering his four children and assaulting and raping his wife, a judge ruled Friday.

Circuit Judge James Shake issued the ruling after the conclusion of the trial Friday, which featured lengthy and often rambling testimony from Biyad, who claimed three mysterious men in a blue van came into his home on Oct. 6, 2006, demanded $10 million and then murdered his four children, slitting their throats.

The men prevented Biyad from calling 911 but later handed him the murder weapon, a knife, which he put in a dumpster, and told him they could give him a ride to the police station, Biyad testified during the fourth and final day of his murder trial.

When Biyad arrived at the police station, on a bus, he said he told police about the three men but they instead focused on him, asking if he had killed his children and raped and beaten his wife, Fatuma Amir.

And Biyad said the confession that was played in court on Thursday was �made up,� with someone else answering questions from Louisville Metro Police Detective Chris Middleton in English.

�It was unbelievable when I saw me talking all the English,� he said through a translator. �I think the whole thing is made up. …That wasn’t my voice.�

During his testimony, Biyad spoke calmly but grew frustrated with his attorney, Mike Lemke, for asking questions before Biyad felt he had finished telling the full story of what happened — and for trying to get Biyad to focus on specifics.

�You don’t want me to finish what I was telling you?� Biyad asked Lemke at one point. �Or you just want me to listen to you?’

Both the prosecution and defense finished their cases Friday.

The last witness to testify before closing arguments was Dr. Greg Perri, a psychologist who met with Biyad at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange. He testified that while Biyad has a paranoid personality disorder, he had no symptoms of psychotic behavior the day of the murders and was able to appreciate that he had committed a crime.

Biyad testified that his wife, Fatuma Amir, left him and brought the kids to Louisville from Portland, Ore., but then asked him to join them in the summer of 2006. But when he arrived, he learned she was being unfaithful and was pregnant with what he believed was another man’s child. Biyad said her family told him he would have to pay $160,000 to get his family back, including $10,000 to the man his wife was seeing.

He also said his wife repeatedly kicked him out of their home, yelled and cursed him and his family.

On the day of the murders, Biyad said three men knocked on his door and asked where his wife was. He said they gave him a drink that had something in it and �my head started exploding� and told him he was being kidnapped. After the men demanded $10 million, Biyad said he went into a room where his wife was sleeping to tell her what was happening. Biyad said his wife �didn’t care� and the two fought.

As they were fighting, Biyad said the men went into the rooms of his children, Goshany, Khadija, Fatuma and Sidi Ali, ages 2 through 8 –— and killed them. Biyad testified he tried to call 911 but the men stopped him, later offering him a ride, which he declined.

He said they gave him the murder weapon, which he disposed of, and took a bus to the police station.

During cross examination, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Erin McKenzie asked Biyad what would happen in his native Somalia if a woman cheated on her husband. Biyad said she would go to prison for 20 years.

And he said his wife was pregnant with a child that was not his and had shamed him and damaged his reputation.

�She always embarrasses me,� he testified, claiming she would curse and belittle him in front of others.

In his interview with Middleton, played in court on Thursday, Biyad said that on the morning of Oct. 6, 2006, Amir tried to get Biyad to leave the family’s apartment in the 1400 block of Bicknell Avenue, pushing him out the front door and cursing him, leading to a physical confrontation between the two.

Biyad said that after he hit Amir with a mallet, knocking her unconscious, she woke and started shouting, so he grabbed a knife and chased her, but she locked herself in a room.

�I said, OK, I know you are going to put me (in) jail, I already hit you,� he said. �I have to finish this proper.�

Biyad said he intended to kill himself but didn’t know how. Instead he went into the rooms of his children.

Two of the children, including Sidi, the 8-year-old, were awake. Biyad said on the tape that he told them to close their eyes and sleep, before cutting their throats.

�This is a bad thing I did, very bad,� Biyad told Middleton.

Jefferson County Coroner Barbara Weakley-Jones testified Wednesday that two of the children had defense wounds, mostly on their hands and arms. The oldest child, Sidi, was hit on the head with a mallet and had his throat slashed, Weakley-Jones said.

The defense Thursday presented testimony from a psychiatrist, Dr. Walter Butler, who said that Biyad was a paranoid schizophrenic who was mentally ill at the time of the killings. Butler said that in interviews he had with Biyad in 2008, Biyad said he believed he was a millionaire and that people were trying to kill him.

On Friday, Biyad testified that he had never seen Butler before and �he made up a lot of stuff.�