Tallahassee Man Sentenced to Life in Prison

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

Fifty-one-year-old Yusef Hakim was overcome with tears as his daughter Hajarah Hakeem testified as a character witness.

"I could never fathom that my father could be in any incident like that. My father is such a peaceful person," said Hakeem.

She was not alone in defending Hakim, who admitted to shooting his ex-wife's boyfriend.

"I was devastated upon hearing about this. This was not Yusuf's manner. I know things happen, but I'm still really devastated about it," said Ahmad Aliyy, a friend of hakim.

A psychiatrist who evaluated Hakim says he suffered from major depression, but members of the victim's family say there was no excuse for murder.

"The character witness for the defense got to go to the jail to see how Hakim was doing. They say they didn't know his state of mind. You know where I can visit my Steve at? In the cemetery. They can still talk to him as a person. All I'm talking to is a gravesite," said Rummel Victor, the victim's older brother.

There was also an emotional reminder from the victim's younger brother, Janero Victor, who sang one of the victim's favorite Luther Vandross songs for the court, "Dance With My Father."

Hakim was facing the death penalty, but prosecutor Ron Flury says the victim's family was happy with a life sentence if they could avoid a long, painful trial.

Hakim does not have a chance for parole, but he has 30 days to file an appeal.


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