LOUISVILLE, Kentucky – A man charged with killing his four young children and assaulting his wife was ordered held without bail Saturday as the bodies were laid to rest.
A judge entered a not guilty plea for Said Biyad, 42, who faces four counts of capital murder and one count of aggravated assault. If convicted of murder, Biyad could face the death penalty, although prosecutors have not said whether they will seek it.
A funeral was held Saturday at the Islamic Center in Elizabethtown, south of Louisville. Islamic tradition calls for burial as soon as possible after death.
Outside the mosque, Imam Mohamed Lunat led about 50 men in prayers in Arabic, The Courier-Journal of Louisville reported. Women stood nearby in the shade of a tree. The mother of the four children, 29-year-old Fatuma Amir, was in serious condition in the hospital and unable to attend.
The children's bodies, wrapped in white sheets, were buried in a Muslim cemetery.
In court, Jefferson County District Judge Jacquelyn Eckert ordered that Biyad have no contact with his estranged wife. Police said they believe the killings stemmed from an argument the couple had over the children.
Jay Lambert, Biyad's court-appointed attorney, said the no-contact order was unnecessary.
"Frankly, Mr. Biyad is not going anywhere any time soon," Lambert said.
Biyad did not speak during the arraignment hearing, which was over in less than three minutes.
Eckert set an Oct. 17 bail hearing.
Biyad, a Somali refugee who had been living in Oregon until recently, entered a Louisville police station Friday morning and told detectives, "I just killed my family," said Lt. Col. Philip Turner, an assistant chief. Police discovered the bodies of the couple's son, Sidi, 8, and three daughters — Fatuma, 7, Khadija, 4 and Goshany, 2 — in their mother's apartment.
Gail Norris, a deputy coroner with the Jefferson County Medical Examiner's Office, said all four children had been stabbed to death.