NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The mother of a baby girl allegedly slain by her father said in a New Jersey courtroom the man told her he worried about being in jail for life for his act.
Venetta Benjamin said she received a call from Shamsiddin Abdur-Raheem as she drove along the Garden State Parkway in August 2010, not far from the spot where Abdur-Raheem said he threw their infant daughter into the Raritan River, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported Thursday.
Benjamin testified Wednesday that Abdur-Raheem told her "My life is almost gone being" in the Middlesex County Jail, where he had been incarcerated for six months after his arrest.
Trial testimony indicated Abdur-Raheem confessed that he either threw or dropped 3-month-old Zara Malani-Lin Abdur-Raheem from the Driscoll Bridge into the Raritan River on Feb. 16, 2010, the newspaper said. He is charged with murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault.
Benjamin testified Wednesday Abdur-Raheem asked her to visit him in jail so he could talk about "my freedom, my future and my life." But he didn't talk about their daughter.
"You killed my baby!" Benjamin said she screamed into the phone, a tape recording of the conversation indicated.
"You don't know what my mindset was," Abdur-Raheem, 24, replied.
The audio recording also captured Abdur-Raheem saying, "You're telling me I should spend the rest of my life in jail? That's cruel."
"You should have thought about that before you killed our daughter," Benjamin said. "You killed her! You killed her!"
Abdur-Raheem also said he didn't expect Benjamin's reaction, The Star-Ledger said.
"I didn't expect you to act like this," he said. "I thought you had a different mindset and had found peace."
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