Prosecutors seek death penalty for HOA shooter

November 2, 2012 - 6:33 PM
Homeowners Association Shooting

Mahmoud Yousef Hindi, who is charged with killing two people at a Louisville homeowners association meeting in September, sits with his attorney, Mike Lemke, on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 in Lousiville, Ky. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for Hindi if he is convicted on two counts of murder. (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Prosecutors said Friday they will seek the death penalty for a Louisville man accused of killing two men at a homeowners association meeting over a long-running property dispute.

Mahmoud Yousef Hindi, a former physician, has been charged with two counts of murder and seven counts of wanton endangerment.

In Kentucky, an additional serious offense known as an aggravator must be alleged in order for a case, upon conviction, to be eligible for the death penalty. In Hindi's case, it is the second murder charge, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Erin White said.

"Our office's position is that's the law and that's how we move forward," she said.

Hindi, 55, told police he was frustrated over battles with the association and went to the Sept. 6 meeting with a loaded gun. Police said he shot association members David Merritt, 73, and Marvin Fisher, 69. No one else was hurt.

White said the victims' family members "are doing amazingly well, all things considered."

"We just hope to be able to get justice for them," she said.

Hindi has declared that he has no money and has been assigned a public defender, Mike Lemke, who declined to comment Friday.

In a videotaped police interview released by prosecutors, Hindi said after he shot the men he told onlookers he wasn't going to hurt anyone else and asked them to call police.

"They just made the killer in me. I had to do it," Hindi said in the interview.

He recounted months-long disputes with neighbors in the year before the shooting over the size and location of a fence and a driveway. Hindi has said he lived at the home owned by his children.

At the September meeting, Hindi said he felt like he was being ignored for about 30 minutes, so he took the gun from his brief case and set it in his lap just before the shooting.

Hindi will return to court on Jan. 14.

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