Police got a warrant to search Abuelazam’s home, which was next door to his uncle’s house. The uncle told police that his nephew had been living there for about three months. Abuelazam previously lived with his sister in Leesburg but had to leave after having a fight with his brother-in-law. Abuelazam arrived in Flint on May 22, and stabbings began there just days later.
A manhunt began for Abuelazam. A phone ping placed him near the Louisville, Kentucky airport. Then the pings went dead.
The Federal Department of Homeland Security found Abuelazam’s name on the manifest for an August 11 night flight from Atlanta to Tel Aviv, Israel. Officers arrested Abuelazam at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, cnn.com reported. But Abuelazam immediately lawyered up and refused to speak with authorities.
Abuelazam’s clothing in luggage that hadn’t made the flight from Louisville to Atlanta, however, provided information to police. Bloodstains on Abuelazam’s pants and shoes matched Arnold Minor’s DNA. Blood on laces matched Frank Kellybrew’s DNA.
Abuelazam was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and six counts of assault with attempted murder. “I believe he was targeting African American men,” said David Leyton, Prosecutor, Genesee County, MI. “That’s my theory.”
Prosecutors decided to try Abuelazam for the murder of Arnold Minor, their strongest case. The defendant’s lawyer used insanity as a defense.
In May 2012, the jury returned with a guilty verdict after deliberating for one hour, according to a press release from Leyton’s office.
Abuelazam, now 45, was sentenced to life without the chance of parole in June 2012.