Wake County News

Wake County double murder suspect calls no defense witnesses

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - Jurors are taking their time deliberating in the trial of a Raleigh man who posted pictures of his dead daughter and wife on Facebook.

Elhadji Seydou Diop faces first degree murder charges in the April 2016 deaths of Aminada Drame and Fatim Diop. The Wake County District Attorney and Diop's defense attorneys made their closing arguments Friday morning.

Jurors deliberated for a little more than two hours. Judge Henry Height had a 3 p.m. cut off due to other court scheduling, so the jury will return Monday morning to resume their efforts towards a unanimous decision.

Investigators learned the 40-year-old mother and 2-year-old daughter died when Diop's niece in his native country of Senegal noticed some posts the now-55-year-old made on Facebook. One photo of the deceased bodies of Drame and her daughter had the caption "Look what gd did2 me" while another photo had an accompanying note which said "They died and I'm next."

The niece in Africa called another family member in New York to express her concerns. That person contacted the New York Police Department, which in turn contacted Raleigh police.

"He's posting things on Facebook. He just had a death in the family, I think his wife and child, and he's posting that he's going to end his life and today's his last day," a relative said in a 911 call.

A welfare check found the deceased victims and Diop. Officers said Diop had a swollen eye and some serious self-inflicted injuries to his wrists and neck. Investigators said he tried to commit suicide by cutting himself and ingesting some toxic substances. It took him a week to recover from his injuries enough to make his first appearance in court.

Police initially believed Diop strangled his wife and daughter. The autopsy report for two-year-old Fatim revealed she died from smothering. Prosecutors said she became trapped under her parents as they fought.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Diop posed his wife and daughter's bodies on the floor at the bottom of a staircase, on their backs facing each other, before taking the photos he uploaded to Facebook. Diop's defense attorneys do not dispute that description.

Diop did not take the stand to testify in his own defense. His attorneys did not call any other witnesses to the stand, either. Their argument is that he did not intend to kill his wife or child. 

This case almost didn't have a trial. Attorneys had a plea agreement in place in September, in which Diop would serve about 30 years in prison for a guilty plea to second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. However, he changed his mind and decided to go to trial on the two charges first-degree murder.

If the jury does not believe Diop committed first-degree murder, than can convict him of second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter, or they can find him not guilty.

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