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BP gas station shooter: ‘I’m sorry about what happened’

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 28, 2011

 Oakland County Prosecutor Ken Frazee speaks for the family of Saif Jameel, who was shot and killed July 2, 2010, at the BP gas station he owned on Big Beaver in Troy during the sentencing hearing.

Oakland County Prosecutor Ken Frazee speaks for the family of Saif Jameel, who was shot and killed July 2, 2010, at the BP gas station he owned on Big Beaver in Troy during the sentencing hearing.

Photo by David Schreiber

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Judge Rae Lee Chabot described the July 2, 2010, shooting of Saif Jameel, 33, by his uncle, Hayes Bacall, at the BP gas station on Big Beaver as needless before she imposed the mandatory life sentence for first-degree murder.

A jury rendered a guilty verdict in the case last month. Bacall said he shot his nephew in self-defense.

Chabot stipulated that Bacall have no contact with Jameel’s immediate family and ordered him to pay $28,500 in restitution.

“I have God,” Bacall said, through an interpreter, at his sentencing in Oakland County Circuit Court Sept. 20. “I wish I could go back and correct what happened. I am sorry about what happened.”

According to court testimony, Jameel, who also owned the Starbucks on the opposite corner from the BP gas station at Crooks and Big Beaver, owed Bacall $400,000. During the trial, surveillance tape was played in court that showed Bacall enter a back room at the gas station occupied by Jameel and Slieman Bashi. Bacall is seen shutting a door and emerging holding a gun after several loud shots; Jameel was slumped over a desk in the background in a pool of blood.

Bacall’s gun was fired 12 times, according to ballistics reports, and Jameel suffered 10 gunshot wounds, according to Oakland County Medical Examiner Ljubisa Dragovic. In a taped conversation with Troy police in the patrol car, after reading the Miranda rights, officer Greg Stopcinski asked Bacall why he shot his nephew, and Bacall said “because he give me a hard time, almost a year he give me nothing.”

Jameel’s family did not speak at Bacall’s sentencing, but Oakland County Prosecutor Ken Frazee said Jameel’s wife wanted Frazee to convey that she “cannot live a day without thinking about what’s happened and how it’s affected the children.”

“It’s a tragedy on both sides,” said Jerome Sabbota, Bacall’s attorney. Sabbota said Bacall plans to appeal the verdict. Sabbota said it was improper that when the jury asked during deliberations if — because there was a unanimous vote that the defendant had committed the lesser charge of manslaughter — they could find the defendant guilty of that charge, Chabot’s answer was to re-read jury instructions, rather than give a yes or no response. Sabbota said the correct answer to the jury should have been “yes.”

Last month, when the jury returned the verdict, Paul Walton, Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor said that it was proper for Chabot to refer to the jury instruction in response to the jury question and that the court proved the element of premeditation. He explained that for a defendant to be found guilty of first- or second-degree murder, the elements of manslaughter would be present. He said jurors had to go forward to also consider the first- and second-degree charges.

 

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