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Al-Zahrani not competent to stand trial

A graduate student accused of stabbing a Binghamton University professor to death in 2009 is not mentally competent to be tried for murder.

Instead, Abdulsalam al-Zahrani, 46, will be placed in the custody of a state psychiatric facility until he is deemed mentally competent to be tried, said Chief Assistant District Attorney Joann Rose Parry.

Broome County Judge Joseph F. Cawley Jr. signed the competency order this morning in court.

Al-Zahrani’s trial on one felony count of second-degree murder was to have begun with jury selection Tuesday morning. On Friday, however, the potential jurors were told not to report to court.

No new trial date has been set, Parry said Tuesday. The order was signed after a competency hearing and a determination by mental health professionals that al-Zahrani was mentally incompetent to understand the charge or be tried.

The graduate student’s behavior was described by other students to reporters as erratic in the days and weeks before Richard Antoun, a professor emeritus in BU’s anthropology department, was stabbed to death Dec. 4, 2009 in Science Building 1 on the BU campus.

Al-Zahrani has been in the Broome County Jail without bail since he was charged in Antoun’s murder on Dec. 5, 2009.

He’ll be transported to a state psychiatric hospital for treatment, as a result of the order. The order is good for up to year. Al-Zahrani will go on trial when he is deemed mentally competent, Parry said.

Press & Sun-Bulletin

Richard Antoun ’53


Al-Zahrani case updates

Abdulsalam al-Zahrani was indicted on Jan. 22. He pleaded not guilty today.


He would have wanted people to understand


Relatives, friends say goodbye to slain professor Richard Antoun

BINGHAMTON — Richard T. Antoun’s final lesson would have been one of understanding his accused killer.

“He would have wanted people to understand, not judge,” said his sister, Linda Antoun Miller, following a memorial service Friday for Richard Antoun. […]

More than 400 people crowded into the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Riverside Drive to say goodbye to Antoun. A table in the congregation’s sanctuary was decorated with a portrait of Antoun, a Red Sox cap, and a coffee bean grinder that was a gift from a friend in the Middle East.

The professor had close ties to the Middle East. His grandfather was Lebanese and much of his work in academia centered in that region of the world, colleagues said.

The mementos were a backdrop to what Antoun’s family, friends and colleagues said about a man described as both brilliant and kind.

Continue reading here.


Richard T. Antoun ’53, RIP

Richard T. Antoun '53

A memorial service will be held on Friday, December 11th, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton, 183 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905. Visiting hours will be from 11:30-12:30 and the service will begin at 12:30. Expressions of sympathy in memory of Dick may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton (UUCB) to support interfaith programming or the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW).

Please see below for articles and comments with many tributes to Professor Antoun. Read more


A gentle man and a peacemaker

Please see this post.


Currently browsing posts filed under "Richard Antoun ’53"

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