Since January, I’ve blogged several times about the “hate crime in Jersey City Heights” involving the Armanious family. I was wrong.
As was reported extensively yesterday, the apparent motive was not religious animus against the outspoken Egyptian Coptic Christian family, which had been threatened online at a Muslim chat forum–but money. From the Associated Press, here’s the assessment of Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio:
“I’d like to make one thing perfectly clear: The motive for these murders was robbery. This was a crime based on greed, the desperate need of money,” DeFazio said.
The New York Post has chilling details of how the family was butchered after the youngest daughter, 9, recognized one of the suspects–upstairs neighbor Edward McDonald:
Monica Armanious, 9, bravely struggled out of the duct-tape bonds that the two thieves wrapped around her wrists and eyes in the Jan. 14 robbery.
But before she could make it to freedom, she saw accused attacker Edward McDonald, a 25-year-old father of two who rented the family’s upstairs apartment, law-enforcement sources said.
He and his alleged accomplice, Hamilton Sanchez — a 31-year-old convicted drug importer — decided that little Monica, dad Hossam, 47, mom Amal Garas, 37, and sister Sylvia, 15, all had to be eliminated, prosecutors said.
Then, in a stunning act of callousness, McDonald went back to his upstairs apartment and spent the next three days living there with his own child and his girlfriend while his alleged victims’ bodies slowly rotted in the home below.
Dr. Monir Dawoud, acting president of the American Coptic Association, which had emphasized the anti-Christian sentiment Hossan Armanious had experienced, said in a written statement:
So many of us came to America from countries where we were persecuted for the way we worshipped God.
“We pray that the evil of prejudice has not followed us here and that the Armanious family was not slaughtered because of their religious faith.”
God bless the family. Let us hope that justice is served.
Update: Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, which published extensively on the Islamist angle of the story, has reaction to the arrests and several remaining questions. Read the whole thing.blog comments powered by Disqus
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