A jury recommended Monday that an El Cajon man who killed his wife and four other relatives in 1985 be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
After three days of deliberations, the San Diego Superior Court jury rejected the death penalty for Toufic Naddi, 49.
Naddi showed no reaction to the verdict, in contrast to his reaction to the same jury’s finding June 21 that he was sane during the crimes. At that time, he exploded in anger and struck one of his attorneys, Beverly Barrett, and was subdued by deputy marshals--all in front of the jury that was to recommend his sentence.
Jury foreman Edward Brewer said afterward that the jury disregarded Naddi’s conduct in court upon hearing the sanity finding.
The foreman said the jury would have voted for the death penalty had the life term included parole. Brewer called the decision “pretty difficult” and said the death penalty was not quickly dismissed in discussions.
Judge Raymond Edwards set formal sentencing for Sept. 17.
Naddi has admitted shooting all five victims repeatedly in the head in the El Cajon home owned by his in-laws on June 1, 1985.
Naddi claimed that his father-in-law, Habib Sabbagh, 73, was having an affair with his daughter, Naddi’s wife, Aida, 26. Also killed were Lillian Sabbagh, 58; a cousin, Michael Sabbagh, 38, and Aida Naddi’s brother-in-law, Osama Mashini, 38.
The Sabbagh family was well-known in Amman, Jordan, and Mashini was an actor and comedian there.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Bob Boles, who urged jurors in his final argument to “show him the same mercy he showed the victims,” said he wasn’t completely surprised by their recommendation.
This is Naddi’s fourth trial. He was first convicted June 8, 1988, of five first-degree murders, but that jury deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of finding him sane, causing a mistrial.
The second mistrial occurred in 1989, after Boles compared the thinking processes of terrorists who killed an American hostage in Beirut to the Lebanese-born Naddi. The third mistrial was declared in February after jurors admitted reading newspaper stories about Naddi’s marriage in jail.