Facing charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting death of a stranger less than 48 hours before the 10th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mohamed H. Dawod withdrew his guilty plea during a hearing Friday in a Springfield, Mo., courtroom. In it’s place, he entered pleas of “not guilty” and “not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.”
Mohamed H. Dawod
Twenty-five at the time the shooting took place at a Greyhound bus station in Springfield, the Glendale, Ariz., native remains in custody and, according to an online docket entry posted Friday, Judge Dan Conklin instructed attorneys on both sides to prepare a proposed order for evaluation by the Missouri Department of Mental Health. That means, he will likely undergo a mental exam soon.
Dawod had been scheduled to stand trial April 16, according to a docket entry dated June 29, 2012; however, pretrial motions delayed that trial from taking place.
More recently, according to an online court docket entry dated March 6, Dawod had been scheduled to be visited in his Greene County Jail cell March 8 and 9 by Dr. Thomas Blansett, a local psychologist. Though the purpose(s) of the visits and/or whether or not they took place was not indicated in the list of docket entries online, it stands to reason that the local psychologist was assessing Dawod’s mental state for purposes of determining whether or not he was in his “right mind” at the time of the shooting.
The Boston Marathon Bombing has garnered a lot of media attention during the past week, in part, because the men suspected of committing the attack were Muslims and the attack itself bore earmarks of Islamic terrorism. Conversely, a deadly shooting that took place in Missouri almost two years ago bears similar earmarks but has received almost no media coverage as it approaches the trial stage.
Mohamed H. Dawod
The bus station murder took place at a Greyhound bus station in Springfield, Mo., in 2011, less than 48 hours before the 10th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Worth noting, witnesses reported the suspect and his alleged victim were passengers on a bus traveling from Amarillo, Texas, but did not to know each other, and were preparing to board the bus for the last leg of the journey to St. Louis when the shooting took place.
According to another local television report, those same police officials said that, because of a language barrier, they had only learned Dawod’s name andhad asked the FBI to help them with the investigation. Also in that report was this:
Ten separate witnesses say they did not notice the men fighting or arguing before the shooting. One passenger said she watched the suspect wander around the terminal until the call to line up to re-board the bus. “She then observed the suspect remove a silver and black handgun from a back pack he was carrying,” the officer wrote. “The suspect then pointed the handgun upward while saying something. The witness could not understand what the suspect said and didn’t know if he was speaking English.” No matter what was said the witness said Hall didn’t react or turn around. Shortly after the witness says Dawod shot him from a few feet away.
In a report five days later, I wondered aloud whether the words Dawod reportedly shouted as he pointed his gun in the air could have been “Alluh Akbar,” the cry that’s been heard coming from the mouths of so many Islamic extremists moments before they suffer from so-called “sudden jihad syndrome.” Unable to answer that question with certainty, I pointed readers to a same-day report in the Springfield News-Leader that contained more insight about the supposed “language barrier.”
Based largely on interviews with three people who were at the scene of the shooting, the article noted two observations I had reported early on — that is, the shooter tried to fire again but could not because his gun jammed and witnesses believed the shooter intended to shoot several people. In addition, however, it noted that Patrick Beeman, Hall’s traveling companion, said Dawod asked police a question in English after he was arrested: “He said, ‘if I quit shooting at people, can I get back on the bus?’”So he does speak English!
More than 19 months have passed since the shooting took place, but there has been very little news media coverage of the case. In fact, the only recent coverage I’ve found appeared Feb. 24 in a round-up article by Daniel Pipes. He examined eight killings in the United States of non-Muslims by Muslims that have gone unnoticed by the major media.
Dawod had been scheduled to stand trial April 16, according to a docket entry dated June 29, 2012; however, pretrial motions seem to have delayed that trial from taking place.
According to an online court docket entry dated March 6, he had been scheduled to be visited in his Greene County Jail cell March 8 and 9 by Dr. Thomas Blansett. Though the purpose(s) of the visits and/or whether or not they took place was not indicated in the list of docket entries online, it stands to reason that the local psychologist might be assessing Dawod’s mental state for purposes of determining whether or not he was in his “right mind” at the time of the shooting.
During a hearing scheduled Friday at 8:30 a.m. inside a 31st Judicial District courtroom in Springfield, Judge Dan Conklin is expected to rule on two motions filed during the past week by defense attorney Stuart Paul Huffman on behalf of his client, Dawod. It’s expected the judge could order Dawod to undergo a psychiatric examination to determine his competency to stand trial.
As this case draws closer to trial, it will be interesting to see whether or not anyone in the news media — aside from yours truly, that is — pays any attention. Stay tuned!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Please READ and SHARE this report, because members of the national news media appear as if they will not. Thanks in advance!
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) continued playing her legislative role in support of DoD’s War on Men, the no-holds-barred effort seemingly aimed at convicting any serviceman accused of sexual assault in the military and making an already-flawed military justice system worse.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
During the lunch hour today in the nation’s capitol, according to this media advisory, she was scheduled to be flanked by “more than 100 survivors of sexual assault pushing for changes in the military justice system” as she delivered the keynote address during the Service Women’s Action Network’s Summit on Military Sexual Violence at the Hyatt Regency Washington.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t believe some of the so-called “survivors” suffered some sort of sexual assault; instead, I tend to place more trust in what I learn by reading actual investigation reports, Records of Trial and transcripts from hearings held before and after courts-martial took place. Why? Because I don’t trust politicians who use people as props, and I don’t trust lawyers. Senator McCaskill matches both descriptions!
Stewart, whose life story is chronicled in my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August, faces living the rest of his life as a convicted sex offender — unless a presidential pardon comes his way — because the convening authority in his case, Brig. Gen. Steven L. Salazar, opted against ordering a new trial or overturning his conviction. His decision came despite the testimony of three individuals — people who did not know Stewart but knew his accuser — during a post-trial hearing. They said the accuser had lied multiple times during Stewart’s trial!
Since publishing the book in October 2011, I’ve been contacted by dozens of people connected by birth, marriage or friendship to men serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, men facing or already convicted of crimes under the banner of sexual assault.
The most recent case involves Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson III, a fighter pilot who was on the fast track toward general officer status until Kimberly Hanks accused him of aggravated sexual assault. NBC News aired a version of the case (see video below) that included an interview arranged by the group, Protect Our Defenders.
A friend of Colonel Wilkerson contacted me recently and advised me to look at “Defense Exhibits Q,” a short video showing the room in which the alleged assault took place and the path leading to the upstairs quarters where the colonel and his wife, Beth, said they were sleeping.
“Pay attention that the overhead lights are the only lights in that room,” the friend wrote, including a photo of the room (above). “Then read her testimony. Completely exclude (Colonel Wilkerson) and look at what she said occurred, and it’s simply not possible.”
Included, but certainly not alone among the documents and videos, is one of special interest to me as the author of another soon-to-be-published nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, because it relates to the polygraph.
While court records show Colonel Wilkerson volunteered to submit himself to a polygraph exam, he did so under the mistaken belief that it would help him clear his name. Like most Americans, he was unaware of how unreliable polygraph exams can be. Fortunately for the colonel, General Franklin is familiar with the polygraph and cited its “inherent unreliability” in his letter to Secretary Donley. And he’s not alone!
“Bob McCarty has uncovered a high-tech ‘turf war’ pitting those who want the best for our troops against others who seem to be focused on their own self-interests,” said Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, a retired Army officer most Americans recognize asthe senior military analyst who appeared so many times onFox News Channel from 2000 to 2007. Referring to those of the polygraph-only mindset, the man who now headsStand Up America added, “Sadly, it seems the wrong people are winning this war. I highly recommend THE CLAPPER MEMO.”
Capt. Larry Bailey, U.S. Navy SEAL Ret.
“Any American with a sense of fair play and a desire to see that our intelligence and vetting personnel have the best information possible should read THE CLAPPER MEMO,“ saidCapt. Larry W. Bailey, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL who once served as commander of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs (a.k.a., “BUD/S”) training program and now serves as a founding member ofSpecial Operations Speaks. Later, he described what I reveal in the book as“an unconscionable cover-up.”
This is not the first and will not be the last article in my series, DoD’s War on Men, so stay tuned!
EDITOR’S NOTE: In case you don’t think I have a heart, let me share a story. When I was a young second lieutenant on my first assignment in the Air Force, I had to handle a sexual assault case. A senior enlisted member of my staff had attempted to sexually assault a junior enlisted member of my staff inside her on-base quarters. After an investigation, he was able to avoid court-martial proceedings by accepting a demotion, a sizable reduction in retirement pay and an immediate and sizable financial penalty. The accuser was satisfied with the outcome, and justice was served.
Did you hear the one about the man with a Muslim name who allegedly shot a total stranger at a Southwest Missouri bus station less than 48 hours ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States? If not, you’ve probably been relying too heavily upon the mainstream media for your news.
Mohamed H. Dawod
Mohamed H. Dawod is scheduled to stand trial April 16 in 31st Judicial District Judge Dan Conklin’s courtroom in Springfield, Mo.
Twenty-five years old at the time of the shooting, Dawod faces charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the Sept. 8, 2011, shooting death of Justin Hall, 32, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. He’ll be represented by Stuart Paul Huffman, a defense attorney who makes his living in the Show-Me State’s third-largest city of almost 160,000.
When I decided to update my coverage of this story, the only new item I discovered was that Dawod is, according to online court records, scheduled to be visited in his Greene County Jail cell March 8 and 9 by Dr. Thomas Blansett. The purpose(s) of the visits and/or whether or not they took place is not indicated in the list of docket entries online. One can assume, however, that the local psychologist might be assessing Dawod’s mental state for purposes of determining whether or not he was in his “right mind” at the time of the shooting.
Strangely, the only national coverage I’ve found related to the case appeared Feb. 24 in a round-up article in which Daniel Pipes examines eight killings in the United States of non-Muslims by Muslims that have gone unnoticed by the major media. His accurate summary of the Dawod case appears below:
Sep. 8, 2011: As Justin Hall, 32, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, was about to board a Greyhound bus in Springfield, Mo., Mohamed H. Dawod, 25, of Glendale, Ariz., shot him in the back. Dawod tried to fire more shots but his pistol, a .22-cal. semi-automatic, jammed, at which point other passengers subdued him. The attack appeared to be unprovoked. Police are seeking a motive. They charged Dawod with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting.
UPDATE 4/1/2013 at 8:41 a.m. Central: It appears another incident of Muslim Jihad took place in Ashtabula, Ohio, Sunday. In this case, however, the shooter knew his victim.
UPDATE 4/15/2013 at 9:50 p.m. Central: Instead of a trial, it appears a pre-trial hearing was held. During that hearing, a review of Dawod’s medical evaluation took place. No new trial date has been set.
UPDATE 4/17/2013 at 8:43 p.m. Central: According to a new docket entry posted Monday, Dawod’s defense attorney filed a motion for a psychiatric exam to determine whether his client is competent to stand trial.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I ask that you please READ and SHAREmy extensive coverage of the Dawod case, because the national news media certainly will not. Headline links to my articles appear below in chronological order, oldest to newest:
Almost 18 months ago, I shared the news: Floating Horse Teeth Goes on Trial in Missouri. Admittedly one of the strangest headlines I’ve ever written, the story had to do with Brooke Gray’s desire to continue practicing her profession of caring for horse teeth (i.e., “floating horse teeth”) in the state of Missouri. Yesterday, I learned from the folks at the Freedom Center of Missouri that Gray appears to have lost her right to practice her profession in the Show-Me State.
In early January 2012, the Clinton County Circuit Court in Plattsburg, Mo., ruled that it can and will enforce a state law that forbids any non-veterinarian to accept payment for providing basic animal husbandry services. The judgment allowed Gray, a young woman with eight years’ training and experience at removing sharp enamel points from horses’ teeth, to continue assisting Missouri’s animal owners—but if she gets paid for her efforts, she will be fined and possibly sent to jail. The Freedom Center of Missouri, which represents Gray, had argued that the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions protect a citizen’s right to earn a living providing basic animal husbandry services.
Now, fast forward to present. According to the Center‘s Dave Roland, the Missouri’s Western District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the state can make it a criminal offense for non-veterinarians to provide basic animal husbandry services to Missouri’s livestock owners.
Noting that the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board had threatened criminal prosecution against a wide range of animal husbandry workers, including those engaged in such common, basic tasks as castrating or dehorning cattle, Roland explained, the court ruled the government may impose criminal penalties if these non-veterinarian workers are paid for their labor, despite long-recognized constitutional rights to earn a living in a common occupation and to enjoy the gains of one’s industry.
The decision came despite the fact that non-veterinarians have performed this task for hundreds of years in order to improve horses’ comfort and ability to perform for their owners.
“The court’s ruling effectively strips the right to enjoy the gains of your own industry clean out of the Missouri Constitution,” Roland said. “What good is a constitutional right if the government can simply declare that it no longer applies?”
Gray was baffled by the court’s decision.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it,” she said. “I’m helping horses and horse owners, not hurting them. The court seemed to confirm that literally anyone is lawfully permitted to do this kind of work and that it is the sort of ‘industry’ addressed in the Missouri Constitution. So why is it a criminal offense if a grateful horse owner pays me for doing that work? It just doesn’t make sense.”
The appellate opinion also stated that while the work itself might be legal, it would be illegal for Gray to tell anyone else about her skills – despite the fact that this issue was not raised as part of the appeal. The trial court had concluded that the government was not seeking to prevent Gray from sharing any information about her knowledge and ability, and the trial court expressly declined to include any such prohibition in its injunction.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has made abundantly clear that the government has no power to prevent citizens from sharing truthful information,” Roland explained. “Brooke is very good at what she does and she has every right to tell other people about it, especially when the work that she’s talking about is perfectly legal.”
The Freedom Center of Missouri intends to seek further judicial review of Gray’s case.
“Missouri is home to thousands of workers who have for decades safely and affordably helped farmers and ranchers manage their livestock,” Roland said. “Their services are essential to this state’s animal agriculture industry and both our state and federal constitutions guarantee these folks the right to get paid for their work. We’re going to keep fighting to make sure that those constitutional guarantees have real meaning.”
KSDK-TV’s Leisa Zigman shared a series of investigative reports this week about cancer clusters many believe stem from piles of radioactive waste being dumped in the St. Louis area decades ago.
Zigman’s first report for the NBC affiliate (above) highlighted a cancer cluster map of St. Louis and spotlighted dumping near St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport and toxic runoff into nearby Coldwater Creek.
Her second report (below) focused on the Westlake Landfill, where a reported 8,000 tons of radioactive waste was allowed to be dumped in a flood plain, close to public water sources and without any barriers or other protective measures installed.
Zigman’s reports dovetail nicely with an exclusive story I broke 54 weeks ago about a controversial report about cancer rates among people living in the vicinity of the Department of Energy’s Weldon Spring Site in St. Charles County, Mo. The site had been placed on the EPA’s National Priorities List in 1987 because of the potential for groundwater contamination to adversely affect a drinking water well field less than a mile away that served 60,000 users in the area.
Click to read reports in my series, “Uphill Battle for Answers.”
Among my reports, I predicted that radiation exposure-related lawsuits were on the horizon after attending a meeting in St. Louis during which a gaggle of New York City personal-injury lawyers were hunting for potential clients.
Now that KSDK-TV has entered the fray by reporting on this topic, I expect more questions — and more reports — will follow. Stay tuned!
UPDATE 2/7/2013 at 8:38 p.m. Central: Apparently, a handful of Missouri state legislators — including one mentioned in my post March 26, 2012 — paid attention to the KSDK-TV report and decided to unveil some of what Culture Vigilante Lisa Payne-Naeger calls “Yankee Doodle Legislation” requesting the U.S. Congress transfer authority for the remediation of the West Lake Landfill from the EPA to the Corps of Engineers’ FUSRAP project with the urgent, related request that the wastes be excavated from the Missouri River flood plain and be transported to a licensed radioactive waste facility, away from water and away from people. It’s a start, I guess.
According to a promotional spot I watched on the NBC affiliate, investigative reporter Leisa Zigman’s first report on the topic is scheduled to air Thursday.
If you’re interested in this topic, I encourage you to read the reports in my series, Uphill Battle for Answers, and then let your elected officials know you want answers — especially if you live in an area close to one of the St. Louis area sites where radiation hazards exist.