Another well-vetted Muslim. Saudi Arabia should be on the banned travel list. Source: Saudi student, 21, wanted for manslaughter is on the run | Daily Mail Online
A Saudi Arabian student wanted for killing a 15-year-old girl in Oregon last year is now a fugitive after skipping bail to go on the run.
Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah, 21, was due to stand trial in Portland last week but vanished nine days before the start date.
He was on bail on a single count of manslaughter for allegedly killing 15-year-old Fallon Smart by running her over as she crossed the road in August 2016.
Noorah, who was studying on a scholarship at Portland Community College, was driving on a suspended license at the time.
Despite Fallon’s families’ pleas to deny him bail, it was set at $1million and a tenth, $100,000, was paid by the Saudi Arabian embassy in Los Angeles, triggering his release.
The conditions of his release stated that he must remain under house arrest and wear an electronic ankle bracelet until his court date.
Nine days before his trial was due to start last week however, police discovered that the bracelet had been removed.
They have not been able to find him since. As part of his bail conditions, Noorah was forced to surrender his passport.
There is nothing to indicate that he has left the country. The embassy in Los Angeles did not respond to DailyMail.com’s questions on Sunday.
Portland station KOIN 5 cite law enforcement officers who fear Noorah may be having a mental health crisis.
Fallon’s family are outraged that he has fled.
They pleaded with a judge not to grant him bail after his initial arrest in fear that he would leave.
Now, they say they are anxious he will never come to justice.
The Saudi Arabian embassy financially supported Noorah with monthly payments of around $1,800 as he studied at Portland Community College.
‘From day 1, our family objected to a bail because of things known about Abdulrahman Noorah that made us believe he was a flight risk.
‘Abdulrahman Noorah has now disappeared and we can only assume trying to return to his home country to evade paying for what he did to my sweet niece,’ Shane Smart, Fallon’s uncle, wrote on Facebook.
‘It seems to me, based on previous facts and strange occurrences, there are strings being pulled for this man. I am not making accusations, but am simply stating facts, and what one might speculate based on those facts.
‘He needs to be re-apprehended and pay for his crime,’ he said.
On Aug. 19, police arrested Noorah at Hawthorne and Southeast 43rd Avenue, where his vehicle allegedly struck Smart. (He is accused of driving away after hitting her, and then returning to the scene.)
Noorah, who has been in Oregon since 2014, is a student at Portland Community College. After his arrest, he asked for a court-appointed attorney, claiming poverty.
But the Saudi Arabian consulate soon hired two experienced criminal defense lawyers, Ginger Mooney and David McDonald, to represent him. (Both lawyers declined to comment.)
Initial bail was set at $280,000—well beyond the reach of a student living on what documents say was a $1,850-a-month stipend.
Then, when a grand jury indicted Noorah, elevating the charge against him to first-degree manslaughter, Judge Cheryl Albrecht raised his bail to $1 million. Part of the rationale was Kolberg’s report declaring Noorah a flight risk.
“We were adamantly opposed to his release,” says Christopher Larsen, an attorney representing Fallon Smart’s mother.
In Oregon, the only crimes for which a judge may deny bail are murder and treason. (Manslaughter is a lesser charge than murder.) But a judge may still set a high bail amount, and Albrecht set it at $1 million to make it unlikely Noorah would be released.
Little did Albrecht know the Saudi government would soon get involved.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regularly posts bail for its citizens arrested in the U.S. In Utah, for instance, the Saudi consulate posted $100,000 bail for a Saudi national accused of rape in 2015 (he also fled but was later caught and convicted). The Saudis posted a $2 million bail in 2013 in Missouri for a Saudi student who was accused of murdering a bar owner (the charges were dropped).
In California, in 2013, a Saudi princess was accused of human trafficking; the government covered her $5 million bail (charges in that case were also dropped).
On Sept. 11, 2016, which would have been Fallon Smart’s 16th birthday, the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles posted a $100,000 bond for Noorah. (In Oregon, defendants may be released when they post 10 percent of the bail amount.
Should they flee, whoever posted bail may forfeit the deposit and be on the hook for the full amount.)
Edward Jones, the chief criminal judge in Multnomah County Circuit Court, says he can’t recall a similar occurrence.
“It’s beyond rare,” says Jones, who’s been on the bench for 18 years and practiced criminal law before that. “I don’t recall a foreign government posting bail here before, and it’s extremely unusual for anybody to post $100,000 bail.”
Officials at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles did not respond to WW’s calls seeking comment.
It is unclear whether the kingdom’s posting bail for Noorah was standard practice.
His parents do not appear to be influential: His mother is a kindergarten teacher, according to Deputy Kolberg’s report, and his father owns a trailer business. A Saudi consular official Kolberg interviewed at the time said the nation’s officials “do not believe Noorah is a flight risk and will be in contact with him ‘all the time.'”
As a condition of his release, Noorah turned his Saudi passport over to federal authorities and agreed to remain at home and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.
But those restrictions didn’t address another of Deputy Kolberg’s warnings about releasing Noorah.
“All three of the defendant’s passengers on the afternoon of this incident reside in the home [where Noorah was living],” Kolberg wrote. “Release conditions prohibit any contact with state’s witnesses. These witnesses are the defendant’s primary support system here locally.”
Noorah’s case proceeded slowly. In pretrial motions, Noorah’s defense team challenged the video and physical evidence presented by the prosecution and sought to get Noorah’s statements to police thrown out on the basis that he doesn’t speak English well or understand how the U.S. legal system works.
“The record demonstrates that Mr. Noorah did not understand the constitutional rights he was waiving when he responded to interrogation by police,” wrote Mooney, one of his defense attorneys, in a May 31 motion.
The mandatory minimum sentence for first-degree manslaughter is 10 years. Noorah faced possibly even more time for charges that he failed to stop immediately, drove recklessly, and recklessly endangered others.
Shane Smart says after all the breaks Noorah received, it’s unfair the victim’s family now has to wonder if he’ll ever be caught.
It wouldn’t be the first time a Muslim skipped bail or that the Saudi’s bailed out one of their criminals in the U.S.