MT. CLEMENS, Mich. - An 18-year-old sentenced to life in prison in the abduction and slaying of a Macomb County man told a judge Thursday he takes full responsibility for his criminal actions, but murder isn't one of them.
Ihab Maslamani faced Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Diane Druzinski, the parents and friends of victim Matthew Landry and the bank teller he threatened during a 2009 holdup.
"I'm not going to use my past as an excuse for my behavior," Maslamani said, responding to assertions of neglect, abuse and little stability throughout his childhood.
"Murder is not something I committed. I'm hurt, too. There's false allegations on me."
Maslamani, of Flint, was convicted last month of first-degree murder, carjacking, kidnapping and four other charges.
Druzinski told Maslamani that a tough upbringing could not explain his actions, and his crime spree that started with the bank holdup and ended with Landry being found shot to death in a vacant and burned-out house in Detroit held a community "on edge."
"Any of our sons or daughters could have been victims of your actions," Druzinski told Maslamani.
Landry's mother, Doreen Landry looked Maslamani straight in the eye as she delivered her victim statement.
"You have disrespected our court system. You spit on the floor of the court. You smiled at my family, you smiled for the cameras and what I wanted to say to you was, 'Who's smiling now?' but I can't because nobody has won here, not, me and not you. I just pray that you will not have the opportunity to devastate another family like this again," she said.
The woman who had a gun pointed to her head during the robbery also spoke to Maslamani Thursday.
"I don't know if I'll ever get over it, when you robbed me, you robbed my life," said Sarah Maynard.
In the end, Maslamani -- wearing a navy jail uniform, handcuffs, waist chain and leg irons -- was led away by deputies.
Defense attorney Joseph Kosmala later told reporters Maslamani requested that paperwork be started for an appeal. Kosmala has said no evidence ties Maslamani to the killing. The attorney also said his client was shaped by hardships as a youth.
"His past led almost inevitably to this conclusion," Kosmala said. "There was no other way it was going to end."
Local 4 has learned that Maslamani's father is serving a life sentence in his native country of Libya. Also, his mother, who the defense has been trying to reach during the trial, has finally been able to get in contact with Kosmala.
A murder trial for 17-year-old Robert Taylor, charged in the same crime spree, has been scheduled for Dec. 1.
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