"You Killed My Baby!" Mother Of Slain Child Yelled
Baby's mother testifies in trial of Galloway man accused of throwing infant into Raritan River
"You killed my baby!" Venetta Benjamin screamed into the phone, just after Shamsiddin Abdur-Raheem of Galloway was accused of throwing their infant daughter into the Raritan River, according to The Star-Ledger.
"You don’t know what my mindset was," Abdur-Raheem, 24, responded, accordng to the newspaper.
Abdur-Raheem was calling from the Middlesex County jail, and lamenting about the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars, just as Benjamin drove south along the Garden State Parkway in August 2010. She was not far from the spot where her child was slain, according to The Star-Ledger.
"My life is almost gone being here," Abdur-Raheem told Benjamin, who testified Wednesday during the second week of his murder trial in New Brunswick, according to the newspaper.
Testimony came before Superior Court Judge Bradley J. Ferencz in New Brunswick.
Abdur-Raheem is charged with murder, kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child.
He is also charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault for allegedly attacking the baby’s maternal grandmother and striking her with his vehicle while abducting the infant from the grandmother’s apartment in East Orange.
Abdur-Raheem has been jailed on more than $2 million bail.
Prosecutors say the man abducted the 3-month-old from her grandmother’s East Orange home on Feb. 16, 2010. He assaulted the 60-year-old grandmother and ran her down with a van as he made off with the infant.
Abdur-Raheem, then 21, then drove to the Driscoll Bridge. The baby’s body was found April 24, 2010.
The crime occurred, authorities said, as Zara’s mother was in court seeking a restraining order against Abdur-Raheem.
Grand jurors indicted Abdur-Raheem on six counts in August 2010. (Click on the PDF, right, to view the indictment.)
Abdur-Raheem and the baby’s mother, Venetta Benjamin, were both students at Richard Stockton College, where they met. He was a criminal justice major, and she graduated with an economics degree in 2009.