After more than five years of caring for her brain-damaged son, the mother of the 8-year-old who died Sunday said on Monday that she can finally forgive the man who forever changed their lives.
“Today, I buried my son,” Loubna Elharazin, Abdallah Khader’s mother, said at Moore Funeral Home in Arlington moments after her son was buried. “Today he is free. I feel at peace. Today he is with God.
“Stewart Richardson is not a nightmare anymore. Today is the first day that I can forgive him.”
Richardson is accused of driving drunk on Feb. 20, 2009, when his Ford F-150 rammed into the rear of the Khader family's Honda Accord, which was stopped at a red light at Oak Village Boulevard and South Cooper Street in Arlington.
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Abdallah, nearly 3, suffered a head injury. His mother, his father, Fahad Khader, and a sibling, Ghazi Khader, were less seriously injured.
Abdallah stayed at Cook Children's Medical Center until April 25, 2009, when his parents took him home in what doctors described as an irreversible vegetative state.
He died Sunday morning at the hospital.
Richardson of Davenport, Iowa, remained in the Tarrant County Jail on Monday where he has been since he was arrested the night of the wreck. He has been awaiting trial longer than any other Tarrant County jail inmate, WFAA reported.
The trial has been delayed as prosecutors and his attorneys have argued in courts about whether Richardson’s prior convictions could be used to enhance the penalty in this case. The Second Court of Appeals has ruled that they can be used.
Richardson, whose blood alcohol content was about three times the legal limit, is charged with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, driving while intoxicated-felony repetition and intoxicated assault charges. His total bail is $175,000, jail records show.
Asked Monday whether Tarrant County prosecutors will seek new charges now that Abdullah has died, Alpert said: “We do not intend to change the current charge. The maximum punishment he is facing is life in prison. We will not take any steps that would delay this case being brought to trial.”
Abdallah’s parents they are hopeful that their son’s case will come to trial this year.
“I’ve forgiven him, but that does not mean I want [Richardson’s] punishment to be lessened,” Elharazin said. “He needs to be locked away for life or more than life. He needs to learn and he did not learn the first time, the second time or even the third time.
“I looked in his eyes and I know he’s not sorry. He’s only sorry that he got caught.”
Abdallah’s parents lobbied the 2011 Texas Legislature, which passed a new law that allows courts to enhance the penalties for people convicted of causing collisions that cause significant brain damage to their victims. The law cannot not apply retroactively to this case.
This contains material from Star-Telegram archives.
Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752