The retrial of Mohammed Haroon Ali found him guily of first degree murder. He was once known for his sponsoring of young people when he worked at Project 90 San Mateo CA, a 12 step based facility. It named after the suggestion of ‘ 90 meetings in ninety days. Ali murdered his girlfriend Tracy Biltnikoffs at the substance abuse rehab with a Narcotics Anonymous meetings going on at the time.
Biletnikoff re-trial: killer takes stand
By John Servatius
Already in prison for first-degree murder and a 64 year-to-life sentence, former CSM student Mohammed Haroon Ali took the witness stand Feb. 29 in a bid for a voluntary manslaughter conviction and time served. This comes during his second trial in the strangling death of Tracey Biletnikoff on Feb. 15, 1999. She was the daughter of Fred Biletnikoff, the Oakland Raiders’ wide-receiver and Hall-of-Famer.
In 2009, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned Ali’s conviction, citing racial discrimination as the reason that at least one African-American was left off the jury. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the appellate decision in 2010. Ali’s retrial began Jan. 25 in Redwood City.
The buzz around Friendship Hall, the P-90 facility in downtown San Mateo that Monday evening was that Ali had relapsed, and that he wanted Biletnikoff’s car keys.
The witnesses were recovering substance abusers waiting for a Narcotics Anonymous meeting to begin. Jean San Genito-Martin, R.N. and Paula Panizzi, a contract manager with county alcohol and drug recovery services, testified that many of those present outside the building were against Biletnikoff giving Ali the keys. Biletnikoff was also in the crowd.
Ali was in his office in the back of the facility playing computer games. Biletnikoff went to see him at the urging of Paul Galindo. At one point, according to witnesses, she was sitting on Ali’s lap, consoling him.
According to detectives and the defendant’s own statements, Ali grabbed Biletnikoff’s keys out of her hands when she wouldn’t give them up or give him a ride to relatives.
She was standing in front of the office door, which was closed, blocking the defendant’s escape. He put his hands on her shoulders “to move her,” he said, because of the difficulty in getting past her. She slapped him several times, calling him various expletives and a loser. His hands went from her shoulders to her neck.
After that, the defendant said, he drew a blank.