Man sentenced to 6 months in jail 31 months after 20-year-old motorcyclist killed in Detroit

Cleophas McGowan sentenced in crash that killed Ahmed Alawsi

A man has been sentenced to six months in jail more than two-and-a-half years after he was involved in a crash that killed a 20-year-old motorcyclist in Detroit. Ahmed Alawsi was riding his motorcycle in March 2020 on Warren Avenue in Detroit when Cleophas McGowan, 47, pulled into oncoming traffic. Attorneys said the motorcycle and the vehicle collided, killing Alawsi immediately.

DETROIT – A man has been sentenced to six months in jail more than two-and-a-half years after he was involved in a crash that killed a 20-year-old motorcyclist in Detroit.

Ahmed Alawsi was riding his motorcycle in March 2020 on Warren Avenue in Detroit when Cleophas McGowan, 47, pulled into oncoming traffic. Attorneys said the motorcycle and the vehicle collided, killing Alawsi immediately.

“He didn’t look to the left, didn’t look to the right like he was supposed to,” Attorney Majed Moughni said. “He pulled right into my client’s path. My client didn’t have a chance to react. He was killed instantly.”

Suhad Alaose, Alawsi’s mother, said she and her children left her home in Iraq after a bombing in 2016.

“(I thought), maybe I will lose my kids there,” Alaose said. “So I decided after the bombs happened, I decided to leave Iraq.”

She moved her family to Detroit’s west side.

“I think it’s safe for my kids, but I could not believe I would lose my son here,” Alaose said.

But for the past two years, Alaose has dressed in black. She said she’s been in mourning since her son was killed.

Officials said McGowan was unlicensed and uninsured when he pulled out in front of the motorcycle. He was charged with a moving violation causing death, but never spent a day in jail because of COVID delays.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to six months in jail.

“He could have done more time in jail if the courts entertained a trial,” Moughni said. “But in this specific case, there was a plea agreement and he took it and he ran with it.”

“I want to talk to him face-to-face, without the judge, without anyone,” Alaose said. “I want to tell him, ‘Why? Why did you kill my son? He’s too young.’”

You can watch Shawn Ley’s full story in the video above.


About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.