Jurors speak about 1990 Tucson mosque murder case - Tucson News Now

Jurors speak about 1990 Tucson mosque murder case

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The scene of a more than 20 year-old murder scene near the University of Arizona still has the landmark "Happiness is Submission to God" on the outside. 

Jurors said that they heard plenty of testimony, and evidence, that even almost 23 years later put Glen Francis at the stabbing that killed imam Rashad Khalifa.

"And this is towards the number of this important opening statement to 114 or 19 times 6," Tucson imam Rashad Khalifa said in one of his videotaped interpretations of the Quran before his murder on Jan. 31, 1990.

His mathematical interpretation of the Quran that earned Doctor Khalifa notoriety, but it also brought him death threats when he rejected two of its verses.  He was stabbed to death. 

The trial was hard for some jurors to listen to.

"At times, yes, because of the nature of first degree murder.  By the same token, I feel like the prosecution gave a perfect picture of what happened.  And, even though it was 22 years ago I feel like we were given a clear understanding of the case," said juror Louise Foltz.

"It did help with fingerprints and blood evidence and things like that but, um, it did help us understand the case and what was going on," said juror Patricia Monz.

"A lot of memories probably were skewed but ultimately it came down to the scientific evidence," said juror Gabriele Lochner.

The jurors sat through a week-long trial, and came back with a decision in less than half a day.  They said that some members of the gallery were emotional during the verdict, but that Glen Francis did not display any emotion as they announced him guilty of first degree murder.

"Well, his reaction was very much the face that he held during the entire week of testimony, etcetera, very quiet, he closed his eyes a lot, just very within himself, no bigger visible reaction than that," Foltz said.

Francis' sentencing is set for next month.  He could face a sentence of 25 years to life.

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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