UPDATE: Ahmadi Guilty of Second Degree Murder in Ganatchio Trail Murder
Habibullah Ahmadi has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Sara Anne Widholm, 76.
Ahmadi attacked Widholm on October 8, 2017 while she was picking up garbage on the Ganatchio Trail in east Windsor. Ahmadi pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, but never contested the evidence supporting injuries he inflicted on Widholm that left her in a coma for more than a year before she died in hospital.
Testimony showed Ahmadi had consumed anywhere between seven to 10 grams of psilocybin or magic mushrooms and smoked marijuana leading up to the assault; facts his attorney Patricia Brown used to assert Ahmadi wasn't cognizant of his actions.
Court Justice Bruce Thomas delivered his ruling at WIndsor's Ontario Superiour Court of Justice at 245 Windsor Ave. Friday saying, the concise and "savage" blows consistently inflicted upon the victim, all to the head, show intent to cause serious injury or death.
Thomas also pointed to video evidence showing Ahmadi evaded witnesses at the scene, cleaned himself up and attempted to dispose of clothes "soaked in Widholm's blood" recovered by police.
Assistant Crown Attorney Renee Puskas says surveillance footage was key in securing the ruling from Justice Thomas.
"What he did after the fact that would seem to rebut his defence that he didn't know what he was doing," she says.
Puskas thanked Windsor Police Service and all the witnesses that came forward to help give the victim's family and friends — who were viewing the proceedings via ZOOM — closure.
"Murder trials are always difficult and time consuming, but it's just so important to have an outcome, not just for the community, but the victim's family in this case," she added.
Windsor police Sergeant Chris Shaw's testimony described Ahmadi as "stoic and emotionless" during questioning.
He says it was a tough case and he's pleased with the judge's ruling.
"I just hope this brings some measure of comfort to the family and friends of Mrs. Widholm," he says. "The community should be reassured that the Windsor Police Service, when a crime like this occurs, will diligently and professionally investigate."
Defence attorney Patricia Brown says she respectfully disagrees with Justice Thomas on the decision.
"I don't want to go into too much detail, however, I do disagree with his perspective on my client's state of mind at the time of this horrific event," she says.
Ahmadi remained motionless throughout the ruling where Thomas described the wounds he inflicted on Widholm in vivid detail.
Brown says a second-degree murder conviction wasn't what he was expecting.
"Certainly he's in shock. Again, I can't get into details on what was discussed, but that was his demeanor," she added.
Sentencing will be held on January 11, 2021 after a pre-sentencing report is compiled.