Tinley Park man pleads not guilty to killing wife
BY JANET LUNDQUIST email@example.com January 11, 2013 2:58PM
Bahaa A. Sam
Updated: January 12, 2013 7:37PM
In June, Nermeen Sam told authorities her husband punched her in the face and bit her arm in front of her four children when she refused to sleep with him, court records show.
Her teenage son pulled Bahaa Sam off of her, and she ran out of their Tinley Park home and drove to a friend’s house, according to a petition for an order of protection Nermeen Sam filed June 29 in Will County Circuit Court.
When she called her mother to tell her where she was, Nermeen Sam learned that her husband had hit and pushed her mother, who also was at the house, until she ran out in the street.
“In the past my husband has verbally harassed my mother, blaming her for our problems,” Nermeen Sam wrote in her petition.
Nermeen Sam came home to get her mother and called police from a neighbor’s house.
Less than six months later, Nermeen Sam, 38, was dead.
Bahaa Sam, 47, has been charged with first-degree murder, accused of beating his wife to death with a weightlifting curling bar Dec. 19 in the front yard of their Tinley Park home while their 4-year-old son watched.
The boy later told police, “Daddy killed my mommy,” authorities said.
Sam, who is being held in lieu of $5 million bail, appeared in court Friday for his arraignment. He pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to return to court Feb. 8.
Authorities say the fatal beating was sparked by an argument over the fact that Bahaa Sam did not have a job.
Sam chased his wife as she ran out of their house, hit her on the head more than 10 times with the curling bar, then left her to die on the front lawn, prosecutors said.
Nermeen Sam’s order of protection was dismissed after she failed to show up in court.
Bahaa Sam was charged after the June incident with domestic violence but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of battery, court records show. He was ordered to have no contact with his wife, to undergo medical treatment and was given a year of court supervision.
As of November, Bahaa Sam had attended 10 counseling sessions, and his case was scheduled to be heard again in January, according to court records.
In October 2005, Bahaa Sam was charged with domestic violence and resisting police, records show. In a bench trial, he was found not guilty of domestic violence but guilty of resisting police and was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.
A paragraph of his wife’s petition for an order of protection includes a description of past abuse by her husband. The last haunting sentence: “I have not called the police in the past because I fear for my safety and the safety of my children and my mother.”