Douchebags of the Week: Dr. Yazeed Essa Charged With Poisoning Wife, Fleeing Country
Welcome back to Douchebags of the Week, our carnival of the criminally impaired. Today we meet Dr. Yazeed Essa, who proves that all the liquor in Lebanon can't make a murder rap go away. But first let's honor our parting contestants...
The 19-year-old resident of Chico, California, was arrested in late January for burglary and theft of a car and electronic equipment before his victims even knew they'd been robbed.
Police at Chico State University found a tipsy Farris sleeping early one morning in a car that did not belong to him, surrounded by a suspicious cache of computers, cell phones, and iPods. Cops say he burglarized the home of several females and made off with their stuff while they slept. When contacted by police, the women were unaware they had been ripped off.
Farris has been charged with suspicion of possessing stolen property and vehicle theft. He is being held without bail, because burglary and theft appear to be violations of his current probation terms.
Keep up the good work, David! These things get easier with a little practice.
But Roger Mayes is not most Americans.
When the 49-year-old Alabama man found his gas pump had not been activated one January morning, he stormed into the BP station and shouted at the clerk, "You are going to die and go to hell!"
Mayes then retreated to his Ford Explorer, revved the engine, and blasted through the station's plate glass front doors, obliterating the coffee counter and coming to a stop at the cash register as the hellbound clerk dove out of the way.
Mayes initially refused to get out of the car, then was tasered by cops as he tried to flee the scene. He was charged with attempted murder and resisting arrest.
"It's a fact that we deal with some bona fide nuts day in and day out," Deputy Randy Christian helpfully explained to the Birmingham News.
The 37-year-old woman from Dundalk, Maryland, is accused of claiming to friends that she suffered from terminal stomach cancer and needed money for treatment -- a ploy she used to raise thousands of dollars, including a "final" cross-country trip to Disneyland, prosecutors say.
Leone, it should be noted, does not suffer from cancer.
It all started with efforts to touch base with old friends through Facebook. But rather than swapping reminiscences, Leone quickly shifted gears to her illness and how she needed money for chemotherapy. Her shaved head appeared to offer proof of the ordeal.
But those who befriended the suffering mother of two became curious when Leone seemed fine in person and managed to knock down glasses of wine with gusto. Others found it odd that she remembered few details of her chemo sessions.
Prosecutors say Leone worked her scam for more than three years, and at least a half-dozen victims have come forward claiming losses of $12,000. When not dying of cancer, Leone also juggled mortgage and check scams, and claimed she needed money to get away from her husband.
She awaits trial on theft and conspiracy charges, and seems a sure bet to catch a karmic case of cancer one of these days.
Stephen Wolf, a physician in suburban Oklahoma City, was arrested in November for allegedly knifing his son to death because the boy was possessed.
Police responding to 911 calls placed by Wolf's wife arrived to find the doctor standing over his son's body in the kitchen of their upscale home.
"He's got the devil in him and you know it," Wolf, 51, told police, according to an affidavit. A knife was confiscated at the scene.
A judge ruled in late January that Wolf, who was evidently competent enough to care for countless patients, is also competent to stand trial for his son's slaying. He faces first-degree murder charges in addition to assault and battery against his wife, who suffered head wounds in the incident.
Wolf has been taking mood stabilizers and antipsychotic drugs, though it appears he might have missed a day back in November.
Prosecutors say the suburban Cleveland doctor escaped from his faltering marriage by poisoning his wife Rosemarie in 2005, then fleeing the country to dodge murder charges.
Rosemarie Essa was killed by a calcium supplement that was laced with cyanide. A short time later, Essa used family connections to go into hiding in Lebanon, where he lived a humble life centered around booze, hookers, and the occasional insurance scam.
While laying low, Essa frequently bragged to anyone who would listen that he poisoned his wife, according to Jamal Khalife, the man who put him up for a year.
"He opened the subject all the time," The Plain Dealer quoted Khalife saying in court. "He was bragging completely."
Khalife turned Essa in after a plot to split $1 million in insurance money went sour.
Now on trial in Ohio, 41-year-old Essa claims that he was heartbroken over his wife's infidelity...and that she was killed by one of his many mistresses.
Craving more Douchebags? Read on: Battered Husband Muzzammil Hassan Beheads His Wife.