Father Hugs Son's Killer in Court and Brings the Judge to Tears with His Powerful Statement
By Ashley Collman
This is the awe-inspiring moment that the father of a murder victim hugged his son's killer in court after bringing the judge to tears by forgiving the young man.
Trey Relford, 24, was sentenced to 31 years in prison on Tuesday in connection with the April 19, 2015 murder of SalahuddinJitmoud, who was stabbed to death and robbed while delivering a pizza in Lexington, Kentucky.
During the sentencing hearing, Jitmoud's father, Dr Abdul-MunimSombatJitmoud, remembered his son as a gentle, generous, and shy young man who had an interest in rapping, writing and producing.
DrJitmoud said that his son had just 'one more delivery' to make the night he was murdered, making his death all the more tragic.
At the end of his speech, he shocked the court when he turned to his son's killer and said he doesn't blame him for what happened.
'I'm angry at the devil who misguided you to do such a crime,' he said.
This is the emotional moment that a man hugged his son's killer in court, after forgiving him in a moving speech
DrJitmoud added that it was important to forgive him because 'forgiveness is the greatest gift of charity in Islam'.
His speech went to far as to move the judge, who wiped away a tear before calling a recess.
When court resumed, Relford's mother took the stand and described how her son had a great childhood but descended into drug abuse as a teen.
'I take total, full responsibility for the loss of your beautiful son,' Relford's mother told DrJitmoud. 'I am deeply sorry for your loss. I am shocked at your forgiveness.'
Eventually, Relford himself apologized for what happened.
'I'm sorry about what happened that day,' Relford said. 'I do applaud you because it takes a powerful man to know that someone has hurt them and to get up there and say what you just said. I can't imagine the hurt, the pain. There's nothing I can do ... I thank you for your forgiveness.'
Later, DrJitmoud went to shake Relford's hand, and the two ended up locked in an embrace, with other members of the two families coming around to join in.
Two others were originally arrested along with Relford for the murder, but a grand jury only decided to go forward with charges against one of them.
Relford maintains that he had help, but prosecutor Kathy Phillips said that all the signs point to Relford being the killer.
'He set up the robbery, he provided the knife, he tampered with the evidence, and he is the one who ate the pizza afterwards,' she said.
DrJitmoud used to work as a principal at Islamic schools across the country, but he now lives in Thailand. His wife, Salahuddin's mother, died in 2013, two years before the murder.
Relford pleaded guilty last month to complicity to murder, complicity to robbery and attempted tampering with evidence – Daily Mail