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Man May Face Death Penalty for Killing Chaldean in Apartment Robbery
By joe acho :: Thursday, November 27, 2008 :: 93394 Views :: Article Rating :: 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.

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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.