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Man gets seven life terms for torturing his children

February 13, 2009 |  1:03 pm

Mansa Musa Muhummed, who beat, tortured and starved his children for decades, was sentenced to seven life terms in prison today by a judge in Murrieta who said the man’s "reign of terror" against his family merited the harsh sentence.

"Mr. Muhummed showed no remorse and accepted no responsibility for his twisted behavior, and the court is sending the strongest message possible," Riverside County Superior Court Judge F. Paul Dickerson III said.

Some of Muhummed’s 19 children urged the court to show no mercy to their father because he showed no mercy to them. "I’m very afraid of him, please don’t let him ever get out of jail," said Sharon Boddie, who was locked up in a dark garage and starved by her father. When police found her, she was 18 and weighed 48 pounds. "I still have nightmares about him,” she told the judge. “Parents are supposed to protect their children, not abuse them.”

During the trial, family members testified that Muhummed locked them in their home, hanged them from the ceiling and beat them, made them eat their own feces and vomit, and routinely hit them with boat oars, hoses and electric cords. He also had three wives.

One of his wives finally slipped a letter detailing the abuse to the mailman, who notified child protective services. The police raided the family’s rural Aguanga home in 1999 and freed the family. The case took 10 years to get to trial because of legal maneuvers by Muhummed.

He denied any torture today, saying his children would someday regret accusing him.  “I never tortured them, I don’t know where that came from,” he said. “I still cheer for them and love them even if they hate me.”

Most of his family left the room when he spoke but returned for the sentencing.

He could be eligible for parole in 65 years, his attorney said.

-- David Kelly

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