Drowning suspect says he loved his kids

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on August 22, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 23 at 5:58 PM

DALLAS — Naim Muhammad held his head low as police officers walked him inside the Dallas County jail on Monday evening and officially charged him with capital murder for the drowning deaths of his two young sons.

Muhammad, wearing a white hooded jumpsuit,  only responded to one question asked by News 8.

MUHAMMAD: "Yeah, I got something to say. My kids."

WFAA: "What about them?"

MUHAMMAD: "I love 'em."

But Dallas police say the 32-year-old father of three drowned two of his young sons after kidnapping them along with their mother as she walked them to the first day of school on Monday.

Police found the lifeless bodies of Naim and Elijah Muhammad in a car.

Court records reviewed by News 8 show Muhammad had a violent past after being arrested a half-dozen times in Dallas County.

He faced his first felony in 2009 for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

In that case, police said he hit one of his girlfriends in the head with a hammer after she confronted him about the way he was talking to her son.

Muhammad got five years probation for that offense.

But he violated that probation when police arrested him in February for family violence.

According to the police report in this case, Muhammad said he wanted to take his son, Naim, to school, but the mother refused to let him.

Detectives said Muhammad hit her in the face with his fist and, according to the report, told her "I am going to beat your ****ing *ss if you do not let me take my son."

Muhammad briefly fled with the boy anyway before officers found him.

Precisely who had custody remained uncertain, police said at the time.

Regardless, on March 17, a judge issued an arrest warrant for Muhammad since he violated his probation.

But it took Dallas County Sheriff's Department deputies six more weeks to go look for him, which raises the question whether the sheriff's office could have done more to get him off the streets.

"That's always the question that's always asked, and of course we do the best we can, and we're out there actively serving these warrants," explained Detective Raul Reyna, a spokesman for the sheriff's office. "This one? We hoped we could have gotten to him sooner, but unfortunately we didn't."

The sheriff's office has 65,000 felony warrants on average, Reyna added, and there are only 40 deputies to round up that many suspects.

Last month News 8 learned that the Texas Attorney General sued Muhammad to try to establish him as the father of three boys (including the two who were killed Monday)  so he might soon start paying child support.

What role that suit played, if any, in Monday's deadly encounter is one police and prosecutors are trying to determine.

E-mail  jwhitely@wfaa.com

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