Phil Helsel, NBC News, April 23, 2020
A black California man who killed three white people in Fresno in 2017 was convicted of murder Wednesday in the racially motivated rampage.
Kori Ali Muhammad, 42, was found guilty on three counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder in the April 18, 2017, slayings as well as a previous killing of a security guard outside a motel, NBC affiliate KSEE of Fresno reported.
The Fresno police chief said at the time that Muhammed is a racist who planned “to kill as many white males as possible,” and who advocated for the creation of a separate country for all of the United States’ non-white residents.
Muhammad’s attorney, Richard Beshwate, said the jury was conscientious but he would have liked all of the convictions to be second-degree murder “based upon his mental-health issues,” according to video from The Fresno Bee newspaper.
If the jury finds Muhammad was not sane at the time of the killings, he would spend the rest of his life in a state hospital, according to the newspaper. If they decide he was sane, he could face the death penalty or life in prison.