Man dies after knockout punch at convenience store

Suspect in attack now faces charge of second-degree murder

MIAMI – A man who was knocked unconscious inside a Miami Beach convenience store has died from his injuries, Miami Beach police said Tuesday.

Mohammad Hussein, 58, died Saturday. The medical examiner determined Hussein died from complications from blunt head injury. 

His alleged attacker, Roger Perry, was taken into custody last week. During his initial court appearance, a judge agreed to move Perry to a hospital to be treated for the various conditions he claims to suffer. 

Perry was moved back to the county jail Monday to face upgraded charges of second-degree murder. He had previously been facing a charge of felony battery.

Police said Perry punched Hussein while the men were standing in the checkout line at the M&L Food Market on Dec. 1. Witnesses said Perry knocked Hussein to the ground when Hussein confronted him about cutting the line.

Hussein fell to the floor and cracked his skull. He was in a coma until his death. 

"I mean, it's unbelievable and what I think the man who has done this should be brought to justice," said Jewel Chowdhury, who is a cousin of Hussein's wife.

Relatives, who would have been in town Tuesday for Hussein's son's college graduation, are attended Hussein's funeral instead. They're concerned how his widow is going to support herself.

"He is a poor American who is a hardworking man and he was the only earning member of the family," Chowdhury said.

Prosecutors have upped the charges against Perry from felony battery to second-degree murder, which a crime punishable by life in prison. Perry's public defender argued in court that the state has overcharged the case.

"There's no allegation of any weapon being used, there no allegation of anything other than a single strike using a backhand that unfortunately resulted in the victim falling and striking his head," said public defender Elliot Snyder.

Snyder cited a similar case from Broward County in 2002 in which two elderly men got into a fight at a movie theater. The victim hit his head and died. The 74-year-old suspect was charged with manslaughter but ultimately cut a deal with state prosecutors and was given a six-month jail sentence in exchange for his guilty plea.

The judge was intrigued by the argument and ordered everyone back to court Wednesday to discuss the charges.

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