An Aguanga polygamist received seven life sentences for torturing and endangering seven of his 19 children and abusing and imprisoning his three wives.
Mansa Musa Muhummed, 55, also known as Richard Boddie Jr., sat in the courtroom last Friday looking unmoved as the judge issued his decision.
A jury found Muhummed guilty of such acts as beating his children with hoses and boat oars, starving them and forcing them to eat their own vomit and feces.
In addition, he imprisoned two of his wives in the house’s garage by chaining the doors shut, leaving them for weeks without running water or bathroom facilities.
Muhummed will serve a separate sentence of 16 years and eight months before beginning his seven life sentences.
Peter J. Morreale, Muhummed’s attorney, asked the judge to allow his client to serve the sentences concurrently, which would allow the defendant out of prison on parole in as few as 23 years.
“The nature of this case is very serious and extremely egregious [but] nobody died as a result of [Muhummed’s] actions,” Morreale said.
Judge F. Paul Dickerson III denied that request and dealt the harshest punishment available to ensure Muhummed would never come out of jail.
The judge stated he believed if Muhummed ever emerged, he would try to harm his family members.
Dickerson explained the severity of the sentence by stating Muhummed had “shown no remorse or accepted any responsibility” for his “years-long reign of terror over defenseless children.”
In response to the sentence, Muhummed rambled semi-comprehensibly for more than four minutes.
He defended himself, claiming the family members had lied because one of his wives wanted “revenge” on him.
Several of his children and one of his wives – who were sitting in the back of the courtroom – stood up and left while Muhummed spoke.
“It’ll come back to haunt them. What they’ve done is wrong,” he said. “My family never suffered like they said they did.”
After speaking for several minutes, Morreale whispered into Muhummed’s ear, shortly after which Muhummed brought his speech to a close.
After the sentencing, Morreale called the judgment “overkill.”
“I think this case was a good case for concurrent sentences,” he said.
The sentencing came more than 10 years after Riverside County police arrested Muhummed in his home in Aguanga.
For Muhummed’s children, the last decade has been a period of growing, healing and fearing Muhummed may one day go free.
“I have been going through this for 10 years of my life,” said Sharon Boddie, one of Muhummed’s daughters. “I really don’t want him to get out of jail at all… I have nightmares at night and he has yet to apologize.”
She begged the judge to deal harshly with her father: “I don’t think the court should have any mercy on him because he had no mercy on us.”
Two of Muhammad’s children asked the judge to be lenient on Muhummed.
A man, who refused to identify himself or otherwise talk to reporters unless they paid him, read a letter he said was from Felicia Boddie, one of Muhummed’s daughters.
“I have no doubt my father needs help, but will the court give him the help he needs?” the man read from a sheet of paper. The letter quoted a passage from the Quran, stating people should help those who are in need.
“I do love him and want him to get the help he needs,” the man read aloud.
Tiffany Boddie, another of Muhummed’s daughters, stood before the judge and begged for mercy for her father.
“I do think the court should show mercy on my father even though he had no mercy on me,” she said. “He is my father, after all.”
The sentencing was vindicating for some of Muhummed’s victims.
“When you do something, you have to pay for it,” said Curtis Boddie, 26, after the hearing.
Curtis was one of only two children who stayed in the courtroom when Muhummed spoke in his defense.
He wanted to see whether Muhummed was still the same man, Curtis explained. “I see he’s the same; he hasn’t changed,” he said. “I’m very satisfied with what the judge did.”
When the police first came to the family’s home, Curtis was 16 years old and weighed only 42 pounds.
Marva Barfield, Muhummed’s first wife of 27 years, used the gathering of her children as an opportunity to apologize to them.
“My children, they are right,” she said. “I want to apologize to them now. I didn’t do anything for them, but I was too scared.”
After the court ended its session, a woman approached Curtis Boddie, identified herself as one of the jurors and handed him a typed letter, signed only “The Jurors.”
It praised the family for their strength and perseverance. “Please know your testimonies have forever changed our lives and your strength and fortitude is truly inspiring,” it read.
To comment on this article online, visit www.myvalleynews.com.