Man Accused of Killing Palestinian Boy, 6, Near Chicago Pleads Not Guilty

Will County Sheriff/Reuters
Will County Sheriff/Reuters

The Illinois landlord accused of stabbing and killing a 6-year-old Palestinian boy and severely injuring his mother—allegedly due to tensions caused by the Israel-Hamas war—pleaded not guilty to all charges on Monday. Joseph Czuba, 71, was indicted last week on first-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery, and committing a hate crime charges. According to the Chicago Tribune, Judge David M. Carlson stated that Czuba could face a life sentence in prison if convicted. Czuba allegedly stabbed the boy, Wadea Al-Fayoume, 26 times. His mother, Hanaan Shahin, was also found with over a dozen stab wounds. She is still in the hospital receiving treatment as of Monday afternoon. Czuba wanted Shahin and her son to move out of their rented home because he thought he and his wife “were in danger,” and was scared Shahin “was going to call over her Palestinian friends or family to harm them,” prosecutors said, according to CBS News. Carlson ordered Czuba to remain in jail to “alleviate any concerns or threats in the community”until his next court appearance on Jan. 8.

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