Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man defending himself in death penalty trial takes the witness stand

TAMPA — There is a huge reason many defendants choose not to testify at their trials:

Cross-examination.

But Khalid Pasha, 69, is not like many defendants. Facing the death penalty, he opted not for an attorney specially qualified to handle capital cases. Instead, he chose himself.

And facing physical evidence that he murdered his wife and her daughter, he told a story that placed him at the murder scene with them alive, then happening upon their bodies, then driving away without telling anybody.

Robin Canady, 43, and Ranesha Singleton, 20, were found dead the night of Aug. 23, 2002, their throats slit, in the most remote corner of the complex where they worked, the Woodland Corporate Center on Waters Avenue.

Deputies stopped Pasha as he was leaving the complex. They found fresh blood on his face and clothes and on a knife inside his van.

On Thursday, he told jurors his wife called him to the complex that night. He was with her and her stepdaughter in her car, but they were separated at one point. And the next time he saw them, they were dead.

The blood on his suit? He cradled one of the bodies — the innocent act of a man who had just lost his family. Earlier, he said he had killed a rabbit.

The knife in the van? He'd never seen it. Except that he later said it was from his yard. But he didn't put blood on it.

Why didn't he call for help on one of his two cellphones?

Why didn't he tell deputies?

"I'm not from Florida," he said. "I know people down here are friendly. Where I'm from … Indiana … you don't communicate with people you don't know."

Assistant State Attorney Jalal Harb questioned Pasha like a prosecutor might in a movie — ardent, accusatory:

"Isn't it true, Mr. Pasha, that was the guilty conscience in you, sir?"

"You're very unlucky. Isn't that what you think you are?"

"You killed these two ladies. The question is why?"

But Pasha insisted he was telling the truth.

The jury reconvenes this morning.

Man defending himself in death penalty trial takes the witness stand 01/24/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. What you need to know for Tuesday, June 27

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Former St. Petersburg mayor and current mayoral candidate Rick Baker, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman square off tonight in a debate. [Times]
  4. Once 'angry' about Obamacare, Republican David Jolly came to see it as 'safety net'

    Blogs

    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  5. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store

    Accidents

    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.