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US Army Spec. Zareef Qaasim Saleel Gets Life in Military Prison in 2011 TX Slaying of Spec. Alex Jaime
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Thread: US Army Spec. Zareef Qaasim Saleel Gets Life in Military Prison in 2011 TX Slaying of Spec. Alex Jaime

  1. #1
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    US Army Spec. Zareef Qaasim Saleel Gets Life in Military Prison in 2011 TX Slaying of Spec. Alex Jaime

    Police Add Charge in Three Legged Monkey Murder

    EL PASO - Court documents show 25-year-old Zareef Qaasim Saleel allegedly shot Alex Jaime from a close distance and used a 12-gauge shotgun.

    Police say the two Fort Bliss soldiers got into a fight inside the Three Legged Monkey on Monday morning. The fight moved out into the parking lot, where the shooting happened. Police have now also charged Saleel with capital murder. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.


  2. #2
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JLR's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    March 30, 2012

    Fort Bliss soldier guilty of murder gets life in military prison

    By Aaron Bracamontes / El Paso Times

    FORT BLISS -- A remorseful and weeping Spc. Saleel Zareef Qaasim took the stand in his court-martial trial to beg for forgiveness after he was convicted of murder on Thursday.

    After more than four hours of deliberation, a military panel found Qaasim guilty of shooting Spc. Alex Gabriel Jaime in the chest with a shotgun on Feb. 7, 2011, at the Three Legged Monkey, but ruled that the shooting was not premeditated.

    He was dishonorably discharged and sentenced to life in military prison with the possibility of parole.

    During the sentencing phase, Qaasim made an un-sworn statement, trying to persuade the panel, which is like a jury, to be lenient on the punishment.

    He also asked the Jaime family to forgive him.

    "I want to show my remorse for the loss of a brother and a son," Qaasim said while crying. "I wish I could take it all back."

    Qaasim said he has dwelled on his actions since he went to jail last April.

    "This entire last year, I've had to sit and think of the events of that night," Qaasim said to the jury and the family. "I wish I could go back and reset things, but I know life is not played like that."

    He also apologized to his family and the military.

    "I know that soon I will have to take off this uniform and pay for what I have done," Qaasim said with a cracking voice.

    By the time Qaasim stepped off the stand, he had tears rolling down his cheeks, his body was trembling, and his knees were shaking. In the gallery, his wife and sister held each other as they cried.

    Earlier during sentencing, several members of Jaime's family spoke, at times directly to Qaasim.

    Sgt. Gabriel Jaime, Alex Jaime's brother, said it was like "literally getting hit by a sledgehammer," when he found out about his brother's death.

    At one point Gabriel Jaime looked right at Qaasim and demanded that he look back.

    "Look at me, guy, you literally took a part of me, do you understand that? Do you? You don't," he told Qaasim. "This entire trial you showed no remorse. Even after you shot him, you showed none. You had all the intention of killing him."

    Gabriel Jaime stared at Qaasim as he left the witness stand.

    The brothers' stepmother, Debra Azzam Jaime, showed pictures of Alex Jaime growing up and told the panel that she never believed he was dead until she saw his casket.

    "I lost it. I lost it completely because I finally believed he was gone for good," she said. "I didn't want to believe it was him. That was not the way that I wanted him to come home. I wanted him to walk off that plane."

    Despite not being Alex Jaime's birth mother, Debra Jaime said, she had a special bond with him.

    "He was the only one that never forgot my birthday," she said. "For everyone else they forgot and it became just another day. But he always remembered, no matter where he was or what he was doing."

    Her words had members of the gallery in tears, including members of Qaasim's family.

    Trista Qaasim, the wife of Saleel Zareef Qaasim, testified that she had to move back home to Minnesota because she needed help taking care of the couple's two daughters.

    "The girls really miss you, they want you to come home and they talk about you every day," she said to her husband. "It's really hard to explain to them what happened. I don't know what to say."

    Qaasim's civilian attorney, Leonard Morales, said they were prepared for a guilty verdict but were hopeful the charge would have been reduced to voluntary manslaughter.

    "He is not an evil man," Morales said. "He feels for the Jaime family, and he feels for what he has done."

    Morales was hopeful that the panel would consider Qaasim's family's testimony when its members handed up the sentence.

    "This was not a coldblooded murder as the government would like to make it seem," Morales said. "It was just a dangerous situation with two young men getting into a regrettable situation."


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