Key Hearing for Suspected Serial Stabber

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. (AP) -- A man suspected in a three-state stabbing spree could learn Friday if he'll face trial for a slaying that convinced Michigan police they were likely dealing with a serial killer.
Elias Abuelazam, who was arrested in August while trying to board a plane to his native Israel, is charged with three murders and five attempted murders in Michigan and an attempted murder in Ohio. He also is suspected in attacks in Virginia.
Marking the most significant court hearing yet for Abuelazam, a prosecutor is expected to present evidence Friday to persuade a judge that there's probable cause to try him in the death of Frank Kellybrew. The 60-year-old was attacked July 30 after buying snacks at a gas station near Flint, an area where 14 people were stabbed -- five fatally -- over the summer in a spree that bewildered law enforcement.
Authorities said Kellybrew's DNA was found on blood-stained shoes seized from Abuelazam's luggage.
"Anything to get it over as quick as possible," Kellybrew's brother-in-law, Charles McFadden, said Thursday. "The more it lingers, the more it stays in your mind."
Kellybrew didn't always sleep well, his relatives have said, so it was no surprise that he was on foot in the early morning hours when he was stabbed and left for dead near a store in Flint Township. The community is just outside Flint, a city about 70 miles northwest of Detroit.
Investigators said other victims also had been walking alone at night, and some of those who survived said they were asked by their attacker for help or directions before being stabbed.
But it was Kellybrew's death that convinced police that a serial killer was likely on the loose.
The stabbing "was something that got law enforcement to say, 'Hey, we've got something here,"' Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said. "That one was out in Flint Township. Some of the others had been in the city. ... It became apparent what we had."
Abuelazam, 34, has pleaded not guilty to the charges he's facing in Michigan and in Toledo, Ohio. He's also suspected in two stabbings and a hammer attack in Leesburg, Va., where he formerly lived.
Abuelazam was arrested Aug. 11 at the airport it Atlanta as he was about to board a plane to Tel Aviv.
Investigators have said the suspect left his vehicle in Michigan and flew to Louisville, Ky., and then to Atlanta. His luggage was seized in Louisville, and the blood-stained shoes were found inside, Leyton said.
McFadden, Kellybrew's brother-in-law, said he believed that that blood evidence should make the case.
"With the DNA, that's like open and shut," he said.

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