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Man May Face Death Penalty for Killing Chaldean in Apartment Robbery
By joe acho :: Thursday, November 27, 2008 :: 75045 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society

California, USA –   One Chaldean family hopes to find closure after murder suspect is arrested for killing their son.  Jeremy Allen Wessels, 32, is charged with the shooting death of David Binno, 24, in Binno's Spring Valley apartment in September 1994.  The apartment theft of gold jewelry and murder may lead to the death penalty. 

Two men accused of murdering their Chaldean friend in 1994 joked beforehand of killing him “for the heck of it,” a former girlfriend testified yesterday.

El Cajon Superior Court Judge Herbert J. Exarhos ruled there was sufficient evidence to try Wessels with the special-circumstance allegation that Binno was gunned down during a burglary.

Weasels is accused of the killing and is only now standing trial on a murder charge that could lead to the death penalty, the judge ruled Tuesday. Wessels is being held in jail in lieu of $2 million bail pending a Nov. 19 hearing to set a trial date.

Prosecutors have declined to say why the murder investigation took so long. A former girlfriend, Monica Cervantes went to authorities with information about Binno's death in 1996.

Cervantes testified that on Sept. 16, 1994, the day Binno was killed, she was visiting a friend in Chula Vista. She said Wessels arrived in the early evening and his accomplice handed her a bag containing a gold necklace and bracelet that belonged to Binno.

“He said it was David's gold,” Cervantes testified. “He said he had just killed David.”

A few days after the slaying, Cervantes said they told her details of how he and Wessels killed Binno.  She said Wessels went to Binno's Spring Valley apartment and once inside, Wessels began wrestling with Binno. Cervantes said she didn't know the motive for the slaying.

Questioned by defense lawyer Timothy Richardson, Cervantes said she didn't tell police what she knew until two years after Binno was killed and she had broken up.

Cervantes said her relationship had been marked by violence. She said he beat her, verbally abused her and at one point threatened to kill her by firing a gun in front of her face as they rode in his truck after she threatened to leave him.

Wessels wasn’t arrested in connection with Binno's death until September, though Cervantes first told police in 1996 that they had admitted to her that they had killed him.

Deputy District Attorney Brock Arstill declined to say why it took so long to make an arrest because he said the investigation is ongoing.

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.