MIAMI - A plea deal was reached for a man charged with killing a customer at a Perrine convenience store in November 2010.
Ragheb Sulaiman accepted a plea deal and pled guilty to manslaughter Friday. He will serve seven years in prison.
"I just wanted to say I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to do this. I'm very sorry," said Sulaiman.
Sulaiman was originally charged with second-degree murder.
Police said Akil Larue Oliver, 34, was killed on Nov. 18, 2010, after an argument with two clerks, brothers Ragheb and Nabil Sulaiman, at the Quick Shop Food Store at 9720 SW 168th Street. Police said Ragheb hit Oliver in the head with a crowbar.
The murder sparked community protests at the store and in court. The store remains open.
"It was senseless. No need to do what you did," said Tony, a friend of Oliver.
The plea deal was sanctioned by Oliver's family.
"I have no malice in my heart, not at all towards the family. I can't get through life holding a grudge on someone, so I had to forgive," said Rubye Moseley, Oliver's mother.
"Very, very sorry. That's it," said Mohammed Sulaiman, Ragheb Sulaiman's father. "Very sorry."
"This was one of those totally unnecessary tragedies of a situation that escalated unnecessarily," said Richard Sharpstein, Sulaiman's attorney. "The families have now made peace."
According to the arrest report, Oliver was angry because he believed the store owner owed him "a small amount of money." Police said he went into the store, made a derogatory racial remark to the clerk, told him to go back to his country and made a profane comment about his mother and sisters.
Nabil Sulaiman, who police said hit Oliver with a bottle, was charged with aggravated battery and was released from jail after posting $10,000 bond. Instead of surrendering his passport to authorities, authorities said that Nabil Sulaiman fled the U.S.
Because he is not a U.S. citizen, Ragheb Sulaiman may be deported after his prison sentence. His brother is still technically a fugitive.
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