Abuelazam's uncle testifies during day two of trial - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Abuelazam's uncle testifies during day two of trial

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(05/09/12) - Day two of testimony in the Elias Abuelazam murder trial included his testimony from uncle. It is the first time we've heard from one of his family members.

Abuelazam is suspected in a series of stabbing attacks in Genesee County.

He's on trial for the August 2010 murder of Arnold Minor.         

Tony Sahwany says he put his nephew, Abuelazam, up in a home right next door to his in Flint, helped him find a job and bought him an SUV.

The same SUV investigators will say Minor's blood was found in.

Sahwany says he also paid for Abuelazam's roughly $3,000 plane ticket to Israel in August of 2010.

Abuelazam was born in Israel and had only been living in Michigan for about three months at that time, according to Sahwany.

He says he was sending Abuelazam back home because had just quit his job and didn't want to support him any longer.

"What do you want me to do? Keep him in the house for free," he asked during his testimony.

Sahwany says he'd talked to Abuelazam's mother, his sister, a couple of days before purchasing the plane ticket and told her what he planned to do.

"I told her, you know, 'It seems like your kid doesn't want to work. He had a good job and quit and I can't keep him here. I'm gonna send him back home.'"

"A bunch of bull. That's what it is," says Minor's sister Stephanie Ward.

His family isn't buying his story.

They were also upset Abuelazam appeared to be communicating with a female inside of the courtroom Wednesday.

"You need to be sitting there like you're on trial like any other person would be," Ward says.

Sahwany also indicated, in court, he didn't think his nephew could be violent.

He had no comment after.

"We've always wondered where exactly Mr. Sahwany was in all of this and there's always some things we may never know the answer to. I think his testimony added to the overall history of the case," says Genesee County Assistant Prosecutor Tammy Phillips.

Testimony prior to his focused mainly on Abuelazam's Atlanta, Georgia arrest.

A U.S. Customs Supervisor, also a member of a federal Joint Terrorism Task Force, was working on potential hate crime related stabbing attacks in Virginia and then here in Michigan.

That tip?

Elias Abuelazam's name.

From a computer in Washington, he quickly tracked Abuelazam's travel and saw he was set to board a plane in Atlanta to Israel.

Airport officials were contacted, Abuelazam was paged, came up to the podium and arrested.

Testimony from a DNA expert is expected Thursday.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton says witness testimony is ahead of schedule.

26 witnesses have been called during the first two days of testimony.

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