Conviction overturned because ISIS used by prosecution could go to state supreme court

NOW: Conviction overturned because ISIS used by prosecution could go to state supreme court


Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to uphold a conviction of a man who may have said something about ISIS during a battery. The case was overturned at the Indiana Court of Appeals. Two judges stating the prosecution referenced ISIS to prejudice a jury.

Moussa Dahab was convicted of hitting his co-worker in the head with a metal pipe at the Chassix factory in Elkhart County in 2014. The man he hit is an Iraqi refugee who was threatened by terrorists for working with Americans. Dahab, also an Iraqi refugee, fled Iraq for the same reasons. 

According to the Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney, Dahab referenced ISIS during the attack. 

“That is the evidence in the case, yes,” Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney, Vicki Becker, said, "That piece of evidence was not meant to be intentional in anyway. It was not meant to prejudice anybody in the case.”

Becker and Hill both say the evidence was never objected to in court. However, in the decision by two appellate judges, Dahab's attorney denied his client ever mentioned ISIS before the trial. 

"We find that the statements were inadmissible, unfairly prejudicial and violated Indiana Evidence Rule 403," Part of the decision read, "Gratuitously linking a person of Middle Eastern descent to a terrorist organization -- ISIS -- is both unfair and uncalled for."

There was a dissenting decision by one judge, essentially claiming what was said during the commission of the crime could prove to be motive and should be admissible evidence. 

If the Court of Appeals decision is upheld, the case would go back to trial.

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