NEWARK, N.J. — Jurors were being selected Wednesday to hear the terrorism trial of a man accused of killing four people in two states in revenge for U.S. policy in the Middle East.
Ali Muhammad Brown, 33, of Seattle, is the first person in New Jersey to be charged with terrorism connected to a homicide case, prosecutors said.
Brown was charged with fatally shooting 19-year-old college student Brendan Tevlin of Livingston, New Jersey, at a traffic light in nearby West Orange in 2014. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges in the case.
Tevlin’s father, Mike Tevlin, has said his son had not settled on a college major when he was killed.
“He was a great kid who was just coming home, and he didn’t deserve to die like that,” Mike Tevlin said in 2016.
Brown is also awaiting trial in three killings in Washington state from earlier in the same year. Prosecutors said Brown shot a man late at night outside Seattle in April 2014 and then killed two men after they left a Seattle nightclub in June.
Prosecutors have said Brown characterized himself as a strict Muslim who became angry with the deaths of civilians and children during U.S. involvement in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.
“The defendant was on a bloody crusade, executing four innocent men … with the same murder weapon, over the course of approximately two months, and all under the common and single scheme of exacting ‘vengeance’ against the United States government for its foreign policies,” prosecutors in Washington wrote in court filings.
Brown already is serving a 36-year prison sentence in New Jersey for his conviction on robbery and other charges. He is expected to be taken back to Washington following his trial in New Jersey.