Abdelaziz Bilal Hamze: Jury Selection & 2nd Degree Murder Trial Begins

By Sean Osborne

9 February 2009: Exactly 21 months ago, on June 9, 2007 I filed my last update on the murder case against a Dania, Florida Muslim man by the name of Abdelaziz Bilal HAMZE.  At that time the vehicular homicide murder of Sandra Hall, a 44-year old mother of two, had resulted in premeditated murder charges being filed against HAMZE.

As you will recall, my original report related the following information. On Sunday night at about 10 PM on June 3, 2007, 24-year old Abdelaziz Bilal HAMZE (pictured at left), a naturalized US citizen from the Lebanon, rear-ends a Cadillac driven by Michael Williams with his white Dodge Caravan. Williams was in the process of pulling over to investigate a possible broken headlight when struck by HAMZE near Riverland Road on Route 441 while northbound in Ft. Lauderdale. Williams proceeds to follow HAMZE as he flees the scene of the fender-bender accident. The ensuing chase winds through at least one residential neighborhood before returning to Route 441 northbound. It is here, at a stoplight in heavy evening traffic, that Williams approaches HAMZE’s vehicle, he is joined by his fiancee and passenger, an incensed Sandra Hall. HAMZE begins to flee again, but this time Hall latches onto the hood of the Dodge Caravan and refuses to let go even as Williams unable to pull her off. HAMZE then accelerates to a reported 70 MPH as Williams sprints after the vehicle on foot for the next two miles. Sandra Hall looses her grip during this segment of the incident and falls under the Caravan, becoming wedged under the vehicle chassis and is dragged for most of the next two miles. Her lifeless, horrifically wounded body deposited by HAMZE’s vehicle in the middle of RT 441.

New reports indicate that jury selection for HAMZE’s trial begins today, with possible opening statements occurring this afternoon. What I find to be interesting is that in the interim of the past 21 months, the particulars of this case have been virtually devoid of any mention in media. Particulars such as the original premeditated first-degree murder charge have apparently been reduced to a second-degree charge. Of the two new reports I have seen on this case this morning, neither contains any of the relevant specific details of the original incident, and they effectively have reduce this murder case to a mere “traffic light altercation” with minimal, if any, mention of HAMZE’s fleeing the scene of the original hit-and-run and the traffic light stop because he feared for his life.

Other particulars from my original report included small details such as the fact that HAMZE not only conducted a vehicular hit-and-run, and then fled the scene of a cold-blooded vehicular homicide, but he then immediately fled the state of Florida by booking a flight from Ft. Lauderdale to New York City on Delta Air Lines Flight 88 with a connecting flight to Athens, Greece on board Delta Air Lines Flight 132. I doubt HAMZE planned to stop in Athens and intended to complete his flight from justice somewhere in Lebanon. All of this warrants the reduced charge of second degree vehicular homicide? Stay tuned.