NEW YORK – A New York City man convicted of killing a Muslim cleric and his assistant in broad daylight has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Thirty-seven-year-old Oscar Morel was convicted of murder in the deaths of Imam Maulana Akonjee (mow-LAHN'-ah ah-KOHN'-jee) and Thara Uddin (THEHR'-uh oo-DEEN') and was sentenced on Wednesday. The two men were shot in Queens as they walked home following prayers in August 2016.
Morel was arrested the following day after police connected him to a hit-and-run crash near the shooting scene. He denied any involvement in the killings.
Some members of the city's Muslim community called the attack on the two Bangladeshi immigrants a hate crime, but prosecutors said the killer's motive was unclear.