My brother Abraham married Winta Mehari and they had a child, Isaac, who was two years old at the time of the events in this case. We (the Gebreselassie family) have brought the Meharis generously at our own expense from Africa to this country. These included Winta, her mother Regebe, and her brothers, Yehferom, Angesom, Merhawi, and Yonas. As soon as the Meharis arrived in this country they were acting as devout Christians to deceive us and our community in order to conceal the true identity of their family. They were hypocritically representing themselves to be pillars of the church when they had two members of their family, Angesom and Merhawi, who violated all the tenants of the church of which they purported to be such loyal and supportive members. The Meharis are people with so many masks that even those close to them seemed not to know them. They used church as a mask to cover up their true identity and also to cover up their criminal activities. The evidence we heard and saw at the preliminary hearing shows the true identity of their family.

Angesom was arrested for a felony burglary in Richmond in December 2002 for attempting to steal from a mall. Further, he was fired from payless store in 2005 at Rockwood center where Abraham had gotten him a job in 2004, due to keeping customers' receipts for purchases and wrongfully appropriating $1300. Click here

In early 2006 Abraham discovered Merhawi was molesting Isaac. He also discovered Merhawi was homosexual. This information was related to me in a telephone conversation between Abraham and me on the night of February 28, 2006. During our conversation, Abraham stated that he had confronted Merhawi and Winta about the issue, and asked me to come to the bay area to assist him in handling this problem with them. But early on March 1, just hours after we spoke, Abraham passed away.

I arrived in the bay area on March 1, 2006 to find that my brother was now dead. In the days that followed, I had many conversations with Winta, her mother, and her brothers. The statements they made regarding the circumstances of Abraham's death caused me to believe there was some kind of foul play involved in his death. I obtained telephone records for both my brother's house telephone and Winta's cell phone. I also obtained the paramedic emergency response records from the night Abraham died. Together, all these records confirmed my suspicions about the circumstances of my brother's death. I came to suspect Winta and her family murdered Abraham based on:-

1. Merhawi's and Yonas's statements that they arrived at her house at the same time as the paramedics, conflicted with arrival times recorded in the paramedic log and Winta's telephone call records. Paramedic reports indicating that the paramedics had arrived at 1:16 in the morning, and Winta's telephone records indicating that she had not called her brothers until 1:21 in the morning. The timing conflict led me to believe that her brothers were at Abraham's house well before the arrival of the paramedics, participating in Abraham's murder.

2. Conflicting statements by Winta and Merhawi as to just where in the house Abraham died and at what point Abraham's eyes were still moving.

3. Abraham's sudden death as soon as he found out Merhawi's homosexuality.

In the ensuing weeks, I also became aware that before Abraham's death Winta was angry with Abraham about financials issues. There had been friction between Abraham and Winta about the amount of money she was spending, the amount of money she was sending to relatives, and the need to reduce her spending because Abraham had entered into a contract to purchase a new home being constructed in the city of Alameda. In addition, I learned that Abraham had obtained $500,000 life insurance policy and Winta filed his life insurance as soon as he died, showing a financial motive for his death. I related this information to the life insurance company in June 2006, which began its own investigation into the circumstances of Abraham's death.

In July 2006, I went to Berkeley Police Department with a coroner, paramedic, and hospital reports which indicated a conflict in the statements that Winta was making about how that death occurred. I met with Detective Rittenhouse of the Berkeley Police Department, and told him about the discrepancies in the accounts of Winta and her brothers. He investigated the matter as a possible homicide and interviewed Winta.

During the preliminary hearing and trial, he testified that Winta told him her brothers, Merhawi and Yonas, had arrived at her house at the same time as the paramedics. Something to investigate, something to ask about because Winta and her brothers statements tell you unequivocally that her brothers were at her house well before the arrival of the paramedics. Click here.

Meanwhile, I also decided to investigate Merhawi's homosexuality because I became certain that the Meharis murdered my brother Abraham to get his $500,000 life insurance policy and also to conceal Merhawi's homosexuality. They knew there is no tolerance for homosextuality in our community and it's not acceptable at all. They also knew that revealing Merhawi's homosexuality would bring humiliation and shame to their entire family, and would also expose their hypocrisy. So unaware that Abraham had told me Merhawi's homosexuality, they could have thought if they eliminate Abraham, nobody would know about it.

Posing as a gay man seeking homosexual contacts, I began a pseudonymous email correspondence with Merhawi. He responded enthusiastically to my explicit propositions by email and voicemail. Click here 1 , 2. Less than two weeks before the events of Nov.23, 2006 Thanksgiving day, I confronted him with the email records. He admitted he was gay, and also admitted that he had molested Isaac. He begged me not to disclose his homosexuality to the church because he was an active member of Eritrean Orthodox Church, which detested homosexuality, as did the Eritrean community as a whole. He also begged me not to tell his mother Regbe. Click here 1 , 2.

I sent copies of evidence regarding Merhawi's homosexuality to Winta, and also discussed Merhawi's issue with her. I told her in order to ensure that members of her family never left two years old Isaac alone with Merhawi, everyone in the family, including Regbe, would have to be told of Merhawi's issue. She invited me to come to Regbe's apartment on Thanksgiving day to discuss Merhawi's issue with her family. She insisted that I come alone.

I went to Regbe's apartment on Thanksgiving day to discuss Merhawi's issue with the Meharis, but they were in the apartment with guns waiting to kill me. As soon as Regbe opened the door for me and I entered the apartment, I was in life threatening confrontation. The Meharis tried to kill me, and I fired to protect myself. At the moment I fired my gun, they posed an immediate threat to my life and safety. I had no other choice except defending my life and safety.

The Meharis were motivated to kill me out of hate and anger. They were angry, and hated me because I was doing a very serious investigation about my brother death. They were also angry that I found out Merhawi's homosexuality. They didn't want anybody to know his homosexuality because that would bring dishonor to their entire family, and would also expose their hypocrisy.

When Regbe opened the door for me and I entered the apartment, my brother Tewodros was inside the living room sitting on the chair. He left in a panic with Isaac after observing an argument, guns being drawn and gunfire.

Angesom, Merhawi and Yehferom testified during the preliminary hearing. They lied about what occurred in their apartment to cover up the fact that they were attempting to kill me. We heard how ludicrous their testimony was - how it defies common sense. The evidence shows the obvious lies and inconsistencies are in their side and the truth is on my side. There is no doubt that the Meharis are responsible for what happened on that Thanksgiving day.