Prosecutors intend to seek a life sentence without parole against the youngest of the four men accused in the alleged murder-for-hire of Baton Rouge automobile dealer Hamid Ghassemi's ex-wife in 2015.
Ghassemi, 66, and his three co-defendants are charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Taherah Ghassemi, 54.
Skyler Williams, 19, of Denham Springs, was 17 at the time of Taherah Ghassemi's death and is ineligible for the death penalty because the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 prohibited the execution of juveniles.
The high court then ruled in 2012 that automatic life terms for juveniles are unconstitutional and said juvenile offenders are entitled to hearings to try and prove they are capable of reform.
Earlier this month, East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings filed court papers declaring the state's intent to pursue a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if Williams is found guilty of first-degree murder. Cummings notes in the filing that a sentencing hearing would have to be held.
David Rozas, one of Williams' attorneys, declined comment.
Hamid Ghassemi; Daniel Humberto Richter, 35, of Walker; and Tyler Lee Ashpaugh, 23, of Denham Springs, are eligible for the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder, but prosecutors have not said whether they will seek that punishment if the men are found guilty as charged.
Richter, who once worked at one of Hamid Ghassemi's car dealerships, is asking to be tried separately.
A Walker man charged in the alleged murder-for-hire of Baton Rouge automobile dealer Hamid G…
Taherah Ghassemi was found May 16, 2015, in a shallow grave in rural St. Helena Parish. She had been shot once in the head.
In a recent court filing, Cummings said forensic pathologist Dr. Yen Van Vo concluded Ghassemi was alive but probably unconscious when she was shot. The woman had a neck injury prior to the gunshot, but prosecutors have not given specifics about that injury.
Taherah Ghassemi, who authorities say was the victim of a murder-for-hire allegedly orchestr…
Hamid Ghassemi, who went through a bitter divorce with Taherah Ghassemi, allegedly paid $10,000 to have his former wife killed, authorities have said. He had been ordered to pay her $1 million in a divorce settlement, but his attorneys say the money was paid before she was found dead.
Ashpaugh told detectives he went with Richter and Williams to her North Laurel Creek home and kidnapped her. She was put in the trunk of her late-model Jaguar sedan and driven to a heavily wooded area near Pine Grove, where she was buried. Her burned car was discovered on a field-lined stretch of Chalma Avenue in Baton Rouge.
Hamid Ghassemi owned Import One and Import One Elite on Airline Highway.
Hamed Ghassemi, the son of Hamid and Taherah Ghassemi, has sued his father, Richter, Ashpaugh and Wiliams, seeking monetary damages.
The son of jailed Baton Rouge automobile dealer Hamid Ghassemi, who is charged with three ot…
Hamid Ghassemi and his co-defendants are being held without bail.