A California man was sentenced to 212 years in prison for intentionally drowning his two severely autistic children in an attempt to collect insurance money. Ali F. Elmezayen is said to have taken out expensive policies on Abdelkarim, 8, and Elhassan, 13, and spent months calling the insurance company to ask how long he would have to wait before he could collect without investigation, The Washington Post reports. Two weeks later, his sons were dead.
- Elmezayen callously killed his children. Two weeks after the period relayed by the insurance company had passed, Elmezayen drove his Honda Civic off a pier at the Port of Los Angeles. While he was able to escape through the driver’s seat window, he left his young sons as well as ex-wife, Rabab Diab, behind. Diab also survived the ordeal, but rescuers were unable to save Abdelkarim and Elhassan.
- He claimed the drowning was a “tragic accident.” After the boys’ deaths, Elmezayen told police that it was all one terrible accident that could have been caused by medication or that “evil inside of me that pushed me to go.” Oddly, they believed him and never went further. Local authorities declined to prosecute him for the deaths, but the case was eventually picked up by federal prosecutors, who eventually charged him with wire fraud.
- Elmezayen was never charged with murder. Prosecutors felt they didn’t have enough evidence to convict him on the murder charges, but the judge still meted out the maximum sentence for wire fraud, 212 years, and called him out for the murders in jail as a heartless murderer who planned the death of his own children. “He is the ultimate phony and a skillful liar … and is nothing more than a greedy and brutal killer. The only regret that the defendant has is that he got caught,” said U.S. District Judge John F. Walter said, according to a release from prosecutors.
- His adult son has vowed to never speak to him again. Elmezayen’s oldest son, 20-year-old Elhussein, disowned his father in court and vowed never to speak to him again for what his father had done to his brothers. “I hope you know I don’t want anything to do with you anymore,” Elhussein said as per the Los Angeles Times. “Don’t call me. Don’t write me.”