A woman in the predominantly Arab city of Shefaram in northern Israel was stabbed to death by her neighbor in the middle of the night, an indictment publicized on Thursday revealed.
According to the indictment, Asraf Tahimer broke into his neighbor’s house late at night last month while her husband was out of the country. Tahimer attacked her while she slept, stabbing her fatally in front of her 11-year old son.
Tahimer, a career criminal with a long list of violent offenses and property crimes, reportedly broke into his neighbor’s house through a guest room, then proceeded to the kitchen, where he took a large knife.
The suspect then went up the stairs and entered the victim’s bedroom. He then stabbed her in the throat. When the woman woke up and attempted to cry for help, Tahimer tried to cover her mouth while continuing to stab her in her face and arms.
The victim’s 11-year old son, who was sleeping in the bed with her, was awakened by his mother’s screams and struggled with the murderer. The woman’s 18-year old son, who had also been awakened by his mother’s calls for help, rushed into the room and began beating Tahimer, knocking out one of his teeth.
Tahimer then stabbed the older son, lightly wounding him. After failing to neutralize the 18-year old, Tahimer fled through a window.
Witnesses reported seeing Tahimer fleeing his victim’s home. Tahimer escaped to a nearby village, where he was later arrested.
Police said Tahimer neither confirmed nor denied the incident, claiming that he was under the influence of intoxicating substances at the time and could not remember what occurred.
“During the interrogation he said that he had smoked a lot of drugs that evening and didn’t remember what happened,” said officer Uzi Hadar.
“He contradicted himself many times [during the interrogation], [and while] he did not confess to the murder, he also did not deny it.”