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Ohio authorities again vow no death penalty in case of doctor accused of murdering his wife

Ohio authorities again vow no death penalty in case of doctor accused of murdering his wife

A prosecutor in Ohio has sent a second sworn statement to a court in Cyprus assuring that the death penalty will not be pursued against a doctor sought on a charge that he killed his wife with cyanide.
"This supplemental affidavit reaffirms in ironclad language what I have said from the beginning: I will not seek the death penalty," Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason said Monday, referring to the case against Dr. Yazeed Essa.
Essa, 38, disappeared after he was indicted in Ohio, charged in the Feb. 24, 2005, death of his 38-year-old wife, Rosemarie Essa, who collapsed in her car near the couple's home.
Essa was arrested in October in Cyprus as he attempted to clear customs after arriving from Beirut, Lebanon. He has been held in Cyprus as Cuyahoga County prosecutors pursue extradition.
His defense argues that Essa may face the death sentence if convicted of the offense for which the extradition was sought, or that prosecutors could amend the charge to one that carries the death penalty once Essa is returned.
Cyprus will not extradite any individual who faces a possible death sentence.
Larry Zukerman, Essa's Cleveland-based attorney who testified as an expert witness in Essa's extradition hearing in Cyprus, said Mason's statement that he did not intend to seek the death penalty was "entirely meaningless as an assurance."
But in Mason's new affidavit, he concludes: "I will not seek the death penalty against Yazeed Essa under any circumstances."
The extradition hearing resumes Friday in Larnaca, Cyprus.
Ohio authorities believe that after his wife's death, Essa, an emergency room doctor, traveled to Syria, Greece and Lebanon and possibly visited Florida.
Essa left behind the couple's two children, 4 and 2, when he disappeared in March 2005. His wife's brother is taking care of them.


Updated : 2021-04-17 23:54 GMT+08:00