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Prosecutor Tries to Stop Alleged Wife-Killer Sam From Getting Wine-Soaked Communion Host

But the judge said Bahaa Sam can take communion that way.

Bahaa Sam. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department.
Bahaa Sam. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Department.
A Will County prosecutor argued against allowing a Tinley Park man charged with bashing his wife's head in with a weightlifting bar to receive a wine-soaked communion host.

"Judge, I'm going to object to this," Assistant State's Attorney Frank Byers said during a Friday morning hearing for Bahaa Sam's murder case. "The jail has a 'no alcohol' policy."

Byers said he was objecting because "apparently this form of communion ... involves (it being) dipped in wine."

Sam's attorney, John Eannace, pointed out that he already secured a court order allowing his client to receive a visit from a Coptic Orthodox priest and to receive Holy Communion. Eannace told Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak that jail staff had only asked him to obtain a more specific order.

Eannace also told Judge Bertani-Tomczakl that the host would be dipped in wine at a church and then brought to the Will County jail.

"It's a small piece of bread that's been dipped in wine," Eannace said.

"Like a very small piece," he said. "Like a fingertip."

Judge Bertani-Tomczak cleared the way for Sam, 47, to receive communion in that manner.

Sam was arrested and charged with murder in December 2012 after a Tinley Park public works employee reportedly spotted the body of Sam's wife, 38-year-old Nermeen Sam, face-down in the grass outside the couple's home. She was covered in blood and a weightlifter's bar was near her body, police said.

Cops called to the scene went inside the Sams' house and ran into the their blood-spattered 4-year-old son. The boy reportedly told the officers, "Daddy killed my mommy."

The Sams also have another son and two daughters.

Bahaa Sam had been arrested twice before for allegedly beating his wife. The first time, in 2005, he was found not guilty of domestic battery following a trial but was convicted of resisting police. The second time, following a June arrest, he pleaded guilty and took a sentence of 12 months court supervision.

The deadly December 2012 attack was prompted by an argument over Bahaa Sam's lack of employment, officials said. During the dispute, Bahaa Sam tried to stop his wife from leaving their home and she bit his finger, a prosecutor said at a previous hearing. Bahaa Sam then allegedly chased her outside and beat her to death with the weightlifter's bar.

An interpreter translated the Friday morning hearing for Sam. Near the end, Sam asked, in English, "Can I say something."

Eannace told Sam he could not.

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