Local News

Road rampage killer sentenced to life in prison

Posted March 23, 2010 12:03 p.m. EDT
Updated March 23, 2010 7:37 p.m. EDT

— A man convicted of running over five people, killing one, during a 2004 hit-and-run rampage was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison.

Jurors found Abdullah El-Amin Shareef, 31, of Raeford, guilty of 10 charges last Wednesday, including one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder, in the rampage that stretched across three counties.

Shareef could have been sentenced to death for the first-degree murder conviction.

"You should never, ever not be confined," Judge Jim Ammons said.

Authorities said Shareef stole a city-owned van in Fayetteville on April 14, 2004, hit and injured three men – Robert Fortier, David McCaskill and Gary Weller – in Fayetteville, then ran over Lonel Bass in Linden, killing him. Shareef abandoned the van, took Bass' pickup truck and continued north, authorities said, running  down Seth Thompson in Harnett County before crashing the truck in Fuquay-Varina, where he was arrested.

Shareef pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and his attorneys argued that he suffered from untreated paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the crimes.

The state argued that Shareef made "conscious decisions" during the incident, running down men who were by themselves and then fleeing to avoid arrest.

Margaret McCaskill, who took the stand following the sentencing, said her husband, 71-year-old David McCaskill, felt guilty for not stopping Shareef.

David McCaskill was walking the couple's two dogs when Shareef hit him. After the vehicle stopped, McCaskill said Shareef then tried to stab him with a pencil.

"I hope you will go and stay in that prison forever so you don't go and hurt anybody else," she said. "We were hoping you would get life in prison so you would have a change of heart in prison."

David McCaskill said as long as Shareef never gets out of jail, he will be happy.

Joan Bass, whose husband was killed in the rampage, told Shareef that he "really messed up" her life.

Weller, who is wheelchair-bound, also spoke.

"If you wouldn't have been gutless that day and said, 'Hey old man, I wanna fight you.' And I would have fought you," he said. "We've been sitting here six weeks listening to your pity party."

In addition to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Shareef was also sentenced to between 297 and 375 months in prison on six other charges. He received 75 days in jail for misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.