No bail for aunt charged in child's beating death
April 8, 2009
By KIM JANSSEN, Staff Writer
Toddler Bhia Hadid had 55 separate bruises covering her tiny body "from head to toe" when she died at her Orland Park home, prosecutors said Tuesday as the 2-year-old's aunt was ordered held without bail on first-degree murder charges.
Jordanian national Nour Hadid, 26, wept as she was led into a courtroom packed with relatives at the Bridgeview courthouse Tuesday afternoon.
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Nour Hadid (inset), 26, was ordered held without bail today, charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of her 2-year-old niece at the family's home in Orland Park.
She wailed as she was led back to cells 10 minutes later, after details of how she allegedly beat Bhia to death over four days at her home, 9016 W. 140th St., were outlined in horrific detail by Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Deb Lawler.
In a videotaped confession made after police found Bhia's "cold, lifeless body" at the Hadid family home Sunday night, Nour Hadid confessed to beating the child "with her hands and a spoon" and to "biting and pinching" her repeatedly since Thursday, Lawler said.
Nour Hadid told police she was angry because her husband, Alaeddin Hadid, had accused her of stealing some money hidden under a mattress and that she also was angry he'd "called her names," Lawler said.
"She took it out on the victim," Lawler said, adding that Bhia had injuries on her face, buttocks, back, chest, hands, abdomen and feet.
Bhia was left in the care of Nour Hadid and her husband by the child's parents - Alaeddin Hadid's brother Jahid Hadid and Jahid's ex-wife Abir - after their divorce last year, Lawler said. Nour Hadid was suicidal and a high flight risk, Lawler said.
Judge William Kunkle examined photographs of Bhia's battered corpse before denying Nour Hadid bail and ordering her taken to the Cermak Medical Center at the Cook County Jail.
He warned Nour Hadid's attorney, Frank Celani, that he almost certainly would not reduce bail at a later date.
Bhia's mother sobbed and lurched forward in her chair as details of the autopsy were read aloud in court.
Sheriff's deputies placed the woman and her supporters on the opposite side of the courtroom from her ex-husband, Nour Hadid and their supporters Tuesday to prevent the high emotion turning to violence.
Relatives held the victim's mother up by both shoulders when she collapsed in the hall outside the courtroom.
An attorney hired by the mother's side of the family, Rouhy Shalabi, said the devastated mother believes "this wasn't an accident."
But speaking outside court, the girl's father said he believed Nour Hadid is innocent.
"I just can't believe she'd do something like this," he said.
Alaeddin Hadid also protested his wife's innocence.
"This is a misunderstanding," he told reporters.
He claimed Bhia had fallen down a staircase at the family home.
"I always told my wife to close the door or one of the children would fall down and she'd end up in jail," he said.
He claimed his wife had "stupidly" not told police about the accident when she was arrested and that, as recently as Friday evening, when the family ate a meal at KFC and took a trip to the mall, Bhia was unhurt.
Three other children living at the couple's home have been taken into protective custody by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
It's not the first time one of Alaeddin Hadid's spouses has been accused of hurting children.
His first wife, Samer, was disfigured and three of the couple's children burned in 2003 when she told police she "accidentally" poured gasoline on a fire at their home in Hickory Hills.
Neither she nor Alaeddin Hadid was charged in connection with that case, which has not been reopened, investigators from the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force probing Bhia's death said Tuesday.
Investigators said Alaeddin Hadid's possible involvement in Bhia's death was "still under investigation."
But Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy said that there was "no connection" between the 2003 case and Bhia's death.
Nour Hadid is next due in court April 30.
Kim Janssen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (708) 633-5998.