A man was charged with capital murder Wednesday for killing his two sons with severe autism after taking out insurance policies to cover his family and then driving his car off a Los Angeles-area pier four years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Ali Elmezayen, 44, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder with the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders carried out for financial gain.
Prosecutors in that case said he purchased $6 million in insurance policies to cover his family in the event of an accidental death.
Currently under federal custody, Elmezayen will first be tried on the insurance fraud charges and then the murder charges.
Elmezayen was in the car with his wife and two sons in April 2015 in San Pedro when he drove it off the berth and plunged it in the water, the prosecutor said.
Elmezayen's car window was open, and he surfaced within 30 seconds and swam to a ladder on the pier. His wife, Rabab Diab, couldn't swim, but authorities said she was rescued by a fisherman after surfacing and screaming, "My kids, my kids."
"The poor lady was screaming hysterically," said fisherman Ray Prince. "I thought she was going to drown."
Two boys, Abdelkarim, 8, and Elhassan, 13, couldn't swim and were strapped in child seats. They were pulled lifeless from the car by rescue divers.