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Christian man beaten to death by Muslim refugees in Maine

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The immigration status of the men remains undisclosed

An assumed Christian man was found dead in his apartment with a bloody Bible near his head. The murder is believed to have been committed by three Muslim refugees who attended a party at the dead man's home in Portland, Maine.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Highlights

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Authorities say the brutally beaten body of Freddy Akoa was found on his living room floor after Akoa's mother, Jeannie Mendomo, was unable to reach him by phone and asked his apartment manager to check on him. He was found dead with a swollen face and appeared to be the victim of a savage attack.

The autopsy report discloses cuts and bruises covering Akoa's body, with head trauma being the cause of death. Akoa also had 22 rib fractures and a lacerated liver. He had a blood-splattered Bible on the ground near his head.

There were empty beer cans and trash around the apartment, indicating a party had taken place before the altercation.

It remains unclear why Akoa was beaten to death but the Bible's presence close to the body provided grounds for a possible religious argument gone wrong.

Detective Rich Vogel of the Portland Police Department said, "Eventually the whole story will come out. It always does."


Police found a purse in the apartment belonging to Jennifer Wilson, who admits to being at the party. Before authorities had a chance to ask her any questions, she asked, "How is Freddy doing?"

She later told police that Akoa had gotten into a fight with three men that night in his apartment. She had accompanied the men and Akoa to a nearby store for beer and had only been drinking at Akoa's home for ten minutes when an argument erupted between the four men. She claims she did not understand the language they spoke.

Despite several people attending the party in Akoa's apartment, authorities are uncertain at what point the beating took place and most were probably incapable of understanding what was being said as the exchange between Akoa and the three suspects were not in English.

The three men are of Muslim descent and are believed to be Somali refugees. The men's identities were released as Mohamud Mohamed, 36, Osman Sheikh, 31 and Abil Teshome, 23.

When officials moved Akoa's body, a document with Mohamed's name on it was found.

Police eventually found Teshome, Mohamed and Sheikh in Deering Oaks park and the trio was arrested for trespassing.

Detective Vogel interviewed the men at the Portland police station where Teshome admitted he became angry at Akoa and that he, Mohamed and Sheikh took turns beating him.

No reason for the anger was given, but Portland police detective Christopher Giesecke reports, "Teshome said he lost control of himself and started hitting Akoa several times in the head. Teshome admitted to punching and kicking Akoa multiple times and knocking him to the ground. Teshome also stated that he struck Akoa with his hands and feet while Akoa was lying on the ground."

Police say Teshome confessed he used a board to beat Akoa over the head and foot.

"(Teshome) said that he and Sheikh left Akoa's apartment around the same time and that he believed Akoa was alive when he left," Giesecke reports.

Surveillance footage from the apartment shows Wilson and Mohamed leave the building at 5:38 a.m. but Teshome and Sheikh are not shown.

At present, the three men are being held at the Cumberland County Jail without bail.

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