Religious Leader Takes Stand in NJ Baby Bridge Death Trial

Imam Terrence Bethea took the stand and described how Shamsid-Din Abdur-Raheem visited him in his Atlantic City mosque and told him he "did something bad with my hands"

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    A spiritual leader claims the man accused of throwing his baby off a bridge in New Jersey confessed the crime to him. Pat Battle has the story. (Published Thursday, Aug 23, 2012)

    The trial for a New Jersey man accused of throwing his 3-month-old daughter off a bridge continued Thursday with testimony from the man's spiritual leader.

    Imam Terrence Bethea took the stand and described how Shamsid-Din Abdur-Raheem visited him in his Atlantic City mosque and told him he "did something bad with my hands." 
    Bethea said Abdur-Raheem broke down crying in his office, the same evening he allegedly kidnapped his daughter.
    "I put my baby in the water," he says he told him.
    The Imam told jurors he didn't know the 24-year-old suspect had a baby.
    Bethea said he drove Abdur-Raheem to his parents home in Winslow Township, which is about 40 minutes from the mosque, where they continued to question him.
    He told them he "hurt the baby and put it in the water."
    They kept pressing him for more information, Bethea said, until Abdur-Raheem's father finally called the police.
    Abdur-Raheem is charged in the death of Zara Malani-lin Abdur-Raheem, who allegedly was abducted from her grandmother's East Orange apartment in 2010 while the baby's mother was in court seeking a restraining order.
    Authorities say Abdur-Raheem parked on the Driscoll Bridge on the Garden State Parkway and threw the girl into the Raritan River. Her body was discovered about two months later.
    Besides the murder count, the 24-year-old former Galloway Township resident faces charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault and child endangerment.

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