Maher Kassem admits to crime: 'I'm going to jail'
TINLEY PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- The defendant appeared in court on Tuesday for the first time since admitting to authorities that he killed his wife and three adult daughters on Sunday.
He faced toward attorneys in the courtroom, shaking his head at times, as he listened to the gruesome details.
It was 11:30 a.m. Sunday when 63-year-old Maher Kassem called 911, saying his wife had been shot.
When police arrived to the home in the 7400 block of 173rd Place in Tinley Park, Kassem pointed them to the basement.
"The defendant replied that there were 'four people shot' and 'I'm going to jail,'" said Assistant State's Attorney Scott Clark.
"I'm going to jail"suspect Maher Kassem
There, police found his wife and three daughters dead, each shot multiple times, after getting into an argument with Kassem, court documents state.
The defendant, facing first-degree murder charges, admitted to police that it was he who shot them. His 19-year-old son, who also lives in the home, saw it all.
"The defendant was recorded volunteering things about just having retired and that, 'she treats me like a f*** dog. I worked 40 years,' and 'I worked all my life to give my family a better home and they treat me like s***. They treat me like a dog," Clark said.
While the exact motive is unclear for what officials are calling "an act of senseless domestic violence," Kassem spoke to police and was recorded on body-worn camera.
"Defendant also stated, '45 years... 45 years... I worked 45 years. Money-hungry b*** pushed me to it,'" Clark said.
Words can't describe how deeply saddened I am at this horrible tragedyTinley Park mayor
Kassem has no criminal background. He does a FOID card, but no concealed-carry license.
Dozens of people gathered at the Mosque Foundation on Tuesday for a special funeral prayer service in honor of the victims, who the Cook County Medical Examiner identified as Majeda Kassem, 53, and her three daughters, 25-year-old twins, Halema and Zahia, and 24-year-old Hanan Kassem.
"Words can't describe how deeply saddened I am at this horrible tragedy," Tinley Park Mayor Michael Glotz said in a statement. "A mother and her three daughters are gone, murdered in an act of senseless domestic violence. The entire Tinley Park community is heartbroken at the loss of these four innocent women, and we grieve alongside the family, friends and neighbors who loved them."
Tinley Park said it hasn't had a crime like this since the murders of five women at a Lane Bryant store in 2008.
"It's a tragedy," Village Manager Pat Carr said. "Not only for the family, but all the surrounding neighbors that are there."
The judge called the defendant unstable and a possible threat to the community. For that reason, he will be detained until his next court date on Feb. 16.
You can contact the Illinois domestic violence hotline at 1-877-863-6338 click here for more information.