Man charged in murder for hire wants cell phone records suppressed
BATON ROUGE- For the first time in a year, WBRZ heard from the son of a murdered woman who is stuck overseas.
There's a new twist, the attorneys representing the man accused of hiring the hit wants cell phone records that led to his arrest suppressed. His attorney claims the cell phone records were obtained unconstitutionally. The District Attorney's Office maintains that's not the case. Meanwhile, the victim's son Hamed Ghassemi hasn't been back home since he flew to Iran to bury his mother.
"Evil exists in the world and unfortunately this evil was closer to home than I ever expected," Hamed Ghassemi told WBRZ last year.
That's where Ghassemi was talking about his father. Investigators say, his dad, Hamid Ghassemi hired a man who worked for him to kill his ex-wife, Tahereh Ghassemi for $10,000.
Two others are also accused of participating. Hamid's attorneys are fighting to keep the accused's cell phone records out of court. They claim those records were obtained, and there was no probably cause of a crime to justify searching anyone's phone.
"They keep your records, they keep my records," Prosecutor Dana Cummings said. "We have to agree that we share that information with them as a result of having the product."
Dana Cummings is prosecuting the case and says no rights were violated. Ultimately, it was those cell phone records detectives tracked which led them to Tahereh Ghassemi's body. When her son went to Iran to bury his mom, he got locked up.
"He was accused of becoming a Christian," Hamed's friend Heather Rangely said last year.
For nearly a year, there was silence.
But days ago, Hamed Ghassemi reached out to me on Facebook.
"I wanted to let you know that I am by no means under house arrest," Ghassemi wrote. "I just dont' have the permit to leave the country as I am facing court and trying to get clear of my charges."
We asked what charges he was locked up on and when he believes he'll get a permit to come back.
"Not sure yet," Ghassemi wrote. "Still have court dates to face."
Tonight, prosecutors are ready to move forward.
"She was such an innocent person in this, minding her own business, going about her life and to disappear the way she did and to be dumped in a grave weeks later, it's tragic, and we feel a great deal of sympathy," Cummings said.
Hamid Ghassemi was in a bitter divorce with his ex-wife, and was ordered to pay her over a million dollars. All four suspects have pleaded not guilty. The DA's office has not made a decision yet on whether it will seek the death penalty.