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Saudi national pleads guilty to slitting the throat of Jewish friend
In Houston, TEXAS, U.S.A.
Houston Chronicle: A Saudi Arabian national who slashed a Jewish friend's throat after apparently undergoing a religious reawakening has pleaded guilty to murder rather than face trial.
Mohammed Ali Alayed, 23, faces up to 60 years in prison for the Aug. 6 attack in which Ariel Sellouk was almost decapitated with a knife.
Although Alayed went to a local mosque after the slaying and no clear motive was established, Houston police said they could not find any evidence that Sellouk, also 23, was killed because of his race or religion.
Alayed, of the 2500 block of Winrock, was arrested Aug. 14 in a friend's empty Galleria-area apartment. He initially was held without bail because he allegedly had told his roommate that he would flee to Saudi Arabia, but a judge set bail at $5 million in October.
Sellouk had been attending Houston Community College, but was taking a break from school to work in his father's business at the time he was slain, said his father, Michel Sellouk.
Sellouk, a Moroccan Jew who settled in Houston in 1982, said his son became friends with Alayed a few years ago. He said Alayed underwent "a religious experience" about two years ago, became a devout Muslim and broke off contact with Ariel.
On the day of the slaying, Sellouk said, Alayed called his son and suggested they get together. The two had drinks at a bar before going to Alayed's apartment about midnight.
Alayed's roommate told police the two were not arguing before Sellouk was killed.