MIAMI – (CBS4) - One of the two brothers accused of beating a man to death inside their convenience store has fled the country and is now considered a fugitive.
Nabil Sulaiman, 19, has fled to his home country in the Middle East because he was fearful for his safety, his defense attorney Jorge Viera said.
“Mr. Sulaiman left the country in fear of his safety because there have been pictures circulated with his image around the community,” Viera told CBSMiami.com. “We’re doing our best to get him back and continue this process.”
Sulaiman was born in Israel, according to his arrest affidavit.
“The intensity and overwhelming protesting is why he’s in fear for his safety,” Viera said.
Records show Sulaiman posted a $10,000 bond and has been out of jail since November 19th. On Tuesday, he was supposed to appear in court to surrender his passport, but failed to show up and that’s when a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Meanwhile, his older brother Ragheb Sulaiman, 24, remains behind bars facing more serious charges of second-degree murder and second-degree murder with a deadly weapon. Ragheb Sulaiman is not eligible for bond.
The deadly fight began at 5 p.m. on November 18th, 2010 at the Quick Shop, 9720 SW 168th Street in Miami.
That’s where Akil Larue Oliver, 34, was beaten to death after allegedly calling the clerk a racial slur, suggested he go back to his country and made sexually-charged remarks threatening the clerk’s mother and sisters, according to the police report.
“Words should never harm anyone. I have the right to say what I want to say no matter how you interpret it; it should have not escalated to murder.” cried Oliver’s mother Rubie Mosley. “No mother should ever have to walk in the pair of shoes that I am walking in. It was a senseless murder. I still lay awake at night waiting to hear if I am going to get a phone call. I know that I buried my son. I know that. But that is in the back of my mind. Empty, I am empty right now.
Oliver supporters who have protested outside the store say it was a racially motivated crime saying Oliver was beaten because he was black.
“I don’t think that state’s attorney and the prosecutor are viewing this as a valid case and they are not pursing them as they should,” protester Keisha Culmer told CBS4′s Tiffani Helberg.
Among his supporters is Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis Moss who issued the following statement late in the afternoon Wednesday: “I stand with the family and the community in expressing my outrage at the fact that Nabil Sulaiman, who is accused in the death of Akil Larue Oliver at a West Perrine convenience store, was allowed to flee the country. This is a concern that has been voiced by the family and the community for some time. I call upon the State Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Justice Department, the F.B.I., Immigration and Border Patrol, our own Miami Dade County Police Department and any other responsible agency, to do what is necessary, and what is right: to bring Nabil Sulaiman back to Miami-Dade County to face trial. The family and the community have gone through enough as a result of this tragic event, and having one of the defendants, namely Nabil Sulaiman, not answer to the allegations in this case, just adds insult to injury.”
But Miami-Dade Police spokesman Roy Rutland said it was Oliver who returned to the store on Nov. 18th and allegedly began verbally attacking the store owners, using racial slurs against them.
An off-duty Miami-Dade Corrections officer and other patrons tried to calm the situation down, and Oliver left the store.
It is suggested that Oliver’s rage stemmed from money the clerk may have owed him.
But Oliver came back a short time later and began his tirade once again. As he was being escorted out of the store by the corrections officer, Nabil Sulaiman, 19, allegedly armed himself with a bottle and hit him.
Police reports say three other employees became involved and as Oliver began to defend himself Ragheb M. Sulaiman, 24, allegedly hit him over the head with a crowbar, killing him.
The store’s video camera recorded the incident.
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