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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tracey Biletnikoff’s Killer, Mohammed Haroon Ali, is Sentenced to 55 Years-to-Life … Yet Again; Father Fred Biletnikoff: “My Hatred for Ali Will Never

Go Away”
 

Murder victim Tracey Biletnikoff and Dad Fred

 

Tracey Biletnikoff with (prom?) date, circa 1996

 

Kidnapper-murderer Mohammed Haroon Ali, in an undated mug shot
 
By Nicholas Stix

Former Raider Biletnikoff addresses court at sentencing of daughter's killer
Posted: 9:20 p.m. Thursday, June 14, 2012
KTVU.com and wires
comment (2)

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. —
A man convicted of first-degree murder for strangling the daughter of former Oakland Raiders football great Fred Biletnikoff in 1999 has been sentenced to 55 years to life in prison.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Barbara Mallach handed down the sentence to Mohammed Haroon Ali, 37, saying the defendant still has "very little insight" into the gravity of crime he committed when he killed his girlfriend Tracey Biletnikoff more than 13 years ago.

"Clearly this is a tragedy for both families," Mallach said. "Obviously it's very, very sad."

Tracey's father, football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff, said at this morning's sentencing that he feels nothing but hatred for the defendant, and asked for the court to impose the maximum sentence.

"My hatred for Ali will never go away," Biletnikoff said. "This animal has to be put away and never let out of prison."

Tracey's mother and sister also addressed the court, and expressed a "huge sense of loss" over Tracey's death.

"The pain never goes away," Tracey's mother Jennifer Webster said. "I will never again feel her touch, her hug, her kisses."

"I ask God constantly what I am supposed to learn from this," she said.

Tracey's sister Natasha Canez cried as she told Ali that she thought a letter that he wrote to the victim's family members was insincere.

"I have seen pictures of what you've done to my sister," Canez said.

"I'd like to believe your letter was sincere, but I don't," she said.

Ali, dressed in a red jumpsuit, held his head down and stared at the table in front of him as relatives of the victim addressed the court.

Following a five-week trial that ended in March, a jury found Ali guilty of murdering Biletnikoff during an argument at a rehab center in San Mateo on Feb. 15, 1999.

Ali admitted that he killed Biletnikoff -- then 20 years old -- as he was trying to move her out of a doorway she had blocked in an attempt to prevent him from leaving Friendship Hall.

Ali, a native of Fiji, had confessed to Biletnikoff that he relapsed into drug and alcohol abuse, and was arguing with her about whether he had to restart the treatment program, which would cost him his counseling job and threaten his immigration status.

He said that he put his hands on Biletnikoff's shoulders to move her out of the way, and before he knew it his hands had moved to her neck and he choked her to death.

He admitted to trying to cover up the crime by moving her body to a ravine near Canada College, and making it appear that she had been sexually assaulted by pulling her pants down and tying a ligature around her neck.

It was the second time Ali had had been convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the crime.

A 2001 conviction was overturned in 2009, when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that that prosecutors had improperly dismissed at least one black juror.

At the time of Biletnikoff's murder, Ali was on probation for attempting to kidnap a former girlfriend in 1994.

Judge Mallach today denied a request by defense attorney Peter Goldscheider to strike the prior offense before considering Ali's sentence.

Both the prior crime and the murder were "violent and serious," Mallach said in denying the request.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said that the "only conceivable fair and just punishment" would be for Ali to be sentenced to prison for the rest of his life.

Ali has been in custody since his 2001 conviction, for which he also received a sentence of 55 years to life.

* * *

Fiji Indian on Trial for Killing Football Legend's Daughter
Suleman Din
Rediff.com
March 30, 2001

Two years ago, Mohammed Haroon Ali drove his lover, Tracey Biletnikoff, to a verdant green hillside in San Mateo's valleys.

Such a beautiful place, perfect for romance.

On that cold winter night, the sky was alight with Orion, The Big Dipper and Hercules, all twinkling like a celestial ballet.

Ali drove off from that hillside, swathed in darkness. But Biletnikoff remained, staring soullessly at the stars.

Ali now stands on trial in San Mateo County Superior Court, in Redwood City, California, charged with Biletnikoff's murder.

The prosecution is arguing that on February 15, 1999, Ali, 24, killed Biletnikoff after a 50-minute argument in the office of his drug counselling programme, then drove out to a hillside and dumped her body there.

But lawyers for Ali, a Fiji Indian who came to the US with his family when he was 14, contend that the girl's death was an accident, brought on by lack of sleep and a insatiable craving for cocaine.

The case has captured national attention because Biletnikoff was the daughter of Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Fred Biletnikoff, who played for the Los Angeles Raiders.

Ali's arrest also sparked outrage because he was on probation for kidnapping an ex-girlfriend, Daisy Chandra, when he killed Biletnikoff. At the time, a judge had suspended Ali's nine-year prison sentence for kidnapping Chandra in 1995.

Chris Morales, a second attorney for Ali, explained that his client first met Biletnikoff at a 'clean and sober' dance, sponsored by the drug rehabilitation project that they both attended.

Morales said Biletnikoff represented a way for Ali, the youngest of six children and the only boy in a conservative Muslim family, to escape the isolation he felt living in the US.

"Ali had a hard time when he first came to the US," he explained.

"He didn't speak the language, and he had grown up in a small Fijian village where they had no electricity, and one phone for every 100 houses ... coming to the concrete jungle of the Bay Area, it was a severe culture shock.

Ali excelled at sports, and played football at high school. But feeling alone, he was vulnerable.

"After he came here... he ended up with the wrong crowd," Morales said.

Morales said Ali started drinking alcohol and using harder drugs like crack cocaine (as a boy, Ali sniffed gas in Fiji).

Morales said Ali's drug abuse was "genetic"-- since generations before him had habitually chewed cava.

Before he met Biletnikoff, Ali dated Chandra for four years, and was engaged to her. But she broke up with him, and he assaulted her, and later kidnapped her.

The prosecution has pointed to this kidnapping as a tell-tale sign that Ali abused his girlfriends. They hope to include this in evidence against Ali, so that they can press for a first-degree murder conviction.

Morales wants the kidnapping dismissed, arguing it is not related to the killing, and that Chandra is an unreliable witness.

"She is a thief," the attorney alleged. "She has a record as long as your arm... the INS had her deported, but she was brought back for this case."

The defence argued that on the night in question, Ali and Biletnikoff shopped together in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district, had sex in a park, then argued about drugs in the evening.

He told her he had started using drugs again, and she hit him in the face, cursed him, and wouldn't let him leave the office when he wanted to get high. In his frenzied attempt to leave, he strangled her.

'It wasn't about her. He didn't want to kill her. It was the craving,' Ali's attorney, Raymond Buenaventura told the court.

But District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe argued that Biletnikoff's death was a brutal murder.

He described Ali as grabbing Biletnikoff by the throat, squeezing her throat and pinning her to the ground with his knee, then killing her by tying a T-shirt around her throat.

Ali then got into Biletnikoff's blue Chevy Nova and drove it up to Canada College, where he dumped her body. He was arrested at the Mexican border 14 hours after Biletnikoff's body was found.

The court will rule on Friday whether the kidnapping evidence can be entered in court against Ali.

If he is convicted, Ali could face up to 50 years for the crime.


[Previously, on this murder, at WEJB/NSU:

“Mischief by Ninth Circus Leads to New Trial for Mohammed Haroon Ali, Who in 1999 Confessed to Killing Fred Biletnikoff’s Daughter, Tracey; Defense Attorney Seeks to Re-Define Murder Without Premeditation (2nd Degree) as ‘Manslaughter’”;

“Jury Selection Begins in Tracey Biletnikoff Murder Trial”;

“Retrial Begins in Tracey Biletnikoff Murder”;

“Tracey Biletnikoff’s Killer Cries in Court”;

“Tracey Biletnikoff Verdict Today”; and

“Verdict in Tracey Biletnikoff Murder Trial: Guilty!”]

5 comments:

Church of Jed said...

"Diversity: You just can't hate it enough."

-Rev. Jed DeValleyism, "Notes from my prayer journal," 2009

Anonymous said...

In his pro football career, Fred Biletnikoff is probably most remembered for being MVP of Super Bowl X when the Oakland Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings 32-14.

My favorite memory is of him destroying mouthy cornerbacks Fred Williamson (later an actor in blaxpoitation films) and Johnny Sample in big games. The Jets had to bench Sample in the 1968 AFL Championship game as Biletnikoff caught 7 passes for 190 yards.

The Jets hung on to win 27-23 and upset the Colts two weeks later in Super Bowl III.

The yearly award given to the leading receiver in college football is named after Fred Biletnikoff.

David In TN

Blood and Soil said...

Needless and unfortunate to say but his daughters death might be attributed to his attitude about blacks and other minorities in the NFL.

I wonder if he ever said anything to his daughter before her death about the dangers of dating this guy?

In her prom picture she looks like a gorgeous girl and her date appears to be a white guy. I wonder when she was led astray.

Blood and Soil

Anonymous said...

To Blood and Soil,

A football magazine at the time in a profile of Fred Biletnikoff said he "was tight with black Raiders."

Tracey Biletnikoff seems to have though "she could help him," another variant of what Larry Auster calls the "White Girl Murder Syndrome."

A commenter at an article on the sentencing hearing said she had seen Tracey with Ali shortly before her death and wondered "why on earth she was with this character."

David In TN

Anonymous said...

Both her father's and her own fault at some level. Why did he allow her to date him? She should have known better than dating some nonwhite thug.