A Father Drove His Two Severely Autistic Sons Off Of A Pier In California
A man in California has been charged with capital murder for killing his two sons, who both have severe autism. He is being accused of taking out insurance policies to cover his family and then driving his car off a Los Angeles-area pier four years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office reported.
44-year-old Ali Elmezayen was charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder with the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders carried out for his financial gain. Prosecutors involved in the case said that he purchased $6 million in life insurance policies to cover his family in the event of an accidental death.
Elmezayen is currently under federal custody and will first be tried on the insurance fraud charges, then the murder charges. He was in the car with his wife and two sons back in April of 2015 when he drove it off the berth and plunged them all into the water, according to prosecutors.
Ali’s car window was open, and he swam to the surface within 30 seconds before making his way to a ladder on the pier. His wife, Rabab Diab, couldn’t swim, but authorities said that she was rescued by a fisherman after surfacing and screaming, “My kids, my kids.”
“The poor lady was screaming hysterically,” recalled fisherman Ray Prince. “I thought she was going to drown.”
Their two boys, 8-year-old Abdelkarim and 13-year-old Elhassan, couldn’t swim and were also strapped into child seats. Their lifeless bodies ended up being pulled from the car later by rescue divers.
Following this incident, Elmezayen collected more than $260,000 in insurance payouts for the deaths and then wired over $170,000 back to his native Egypt, prosecutors in the fraud case explained.
Initially, the district attorney declined to bring charges in his sons’ deaths because of insufficient evidence. A police mechanic found that the brake pedal in the vehicle didn’t properly work, but couldn’t tell if that was the case before the tragedy or because of the salt water corrosion.
These new charges are a result of a further investigation. If convicted of murder, Ali Elmezayen faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.