TOLEDO (WTOL) - A Toledo father will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he admitted in court to murdering his wife and nearly murdering his son.
At the time, his neighbors couldn't imagine such a crime. After the sentencing, his friends say he should be forgiven.
This killer was soft spoken, but was joined in court with a lot of support. Not all of his family and friends could even fit in the courtroom. Who was not there? The son he tried to kill.
45 year old Youssef Ramadan walks into court pleading guilty and admitting the unthinkable. The judge asked, "When you struck her with the hammer, did you do so purposely with the intent to cause her death?"
"Yes," said Youssef.
This husband lived with his wife Mirvat and their two children in east Toledo up until September of last year. That's when Mirvat and Youssef started fighting, and he stabbed and beat her to death with a kitchen knife and sledge hammer.
His 14-year-old son Mohammed called 911. That's when Youssef hit him with the hammer, breaking his jaw.
Youssef told police he just snapped. Assistant Prosecutor Rob Miller explains, "Financial issues, marital issues according to him. It all just built up."
Even though the crime was brutal, bloody and almost took two lives, Ramadan's own preacher says he must be forgiven. "Youssef, while he did this thing. I never believed he did it by purpose," says Ismail Azzouni with the Masjid Saad Foundation.
He says the man he's known for the last 15 years was a family man with no history of domestic abuse. "You know, he's a kind guy. He's a gentle guy. Everybody loves him," the preacher says.
Due to his severe depression since the attacks, the courts could not proceed with Ramadan's case. They only deemed him competent to stand trial last month.
"Because he lost his temper," says Azzouni, "in one moment, he destroyed everything.. his family, his kids."