Thursday, 8 June 2017

U.S-based Nigerian Businessman Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing a Lady He was Owing $1k (Photos)

U.S-based Nigerian Businessman Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing a Lady He was Owing $1k (Photos)

Ezeoma Chigozie Obioha, right, at his sentencing. In 2015, he fired a shotgun at Carrie Melvin, 30,
as she walked to a restaurant with her boyfriend. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A Nigerian businessman was sentenced to life in prison in America without the possibility of parole during an emotional court hearing on Monday for the 2015 murder of a woman.

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A California-based Nigerian businessman, Ezeoma Chigozie Obioha, was on Monday, sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting a woman in the face with a shotgun two years ago.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the 32-year-old Nigerian reportedly approached the 30-year-old woman identified as Carrie Jean Melvin, with a Mossberg 12-gauge while she walked with her boyfriend to a restaurant in Hollywood on July 5, 2015.

Obioha had romantic feelings for Melvin, which she didn’t return, and it was after she filed a complaint that the businessman owed her a little more than $1,700 for social media marketing she’d done on behalf of his clothing company that he decided to confront her, according to prosecutors.    

The morning after the shooting, a young boy found the murder weapon on the beach in Malibu under a rock. Obioha was arrested 18 days later.

U.S-based Nigerian Businessman Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing a Lady He was Owing $1k (Photos)


The victim

His defense attorney during the trial said the weapon was planted and that Obioha tried paying Melvin a portion of what he owed her, but the $1,620 check bounced.  

Ezeoma sat showing no emotion as Carrie Jean Melvin’s relatives told the court that her killing had upended their lives.

“I have tried to answer my family’s questions, but how do you explain a completely senseless act? We cry every day,” said her father, Bernard Melvin. “I had to hear and see things in the trial that no parent should have to hear.”

The victim’s older brother, Ryan, said Obioha’s insistence that he is innocent compounded the family’s grief. He said he experiences recurring nightmares about his sister’s murder.

In phone calls from jail, Obioha gave his family different explanations about what happened to his gun. First, he said that it had been stolen. Then, that Melvin’s boyfriend had taken it to set him up.

U.S-based Nigerian Businessman Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing a Lady He was Owing $1k (Photos)

Chigozie

Lastly, he said it had been planted by an ocean photographer who wanted his Instagram and Facebook accounts featured on the news, the prosecutor said. .

In court, the victim’s father said that after sitting through the trial and hearing the evidence, he’s convinced that Obioha was the person who killed his daughter. He urged Obioha to accept the sentence.
 
Last year, a jury found Obioha guilty of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait and murder for financial gain, which tacked additional penalty onto his sentence and removed the possibility of parole, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

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