JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- The father of the 6-year-old Will County boy stabbed to death in an apparent hate crime last month has filed a lawsuit, court records show.
Wadea Al-Fayoume and his mother, Hanaan Shahin, were stabbed many times. Prosecutors said their landlord, Joseph Czuba, attacked them over their Muslim faith.
He has been indicted on murder and hate crime charges, and pleaded not guilty.
Odai Al-Fayoume filed a wrongful death lawsuit last week in Will County against Czuba for the incident, which took place in unincorporated Plainfield.
The next court date is in March.
Czuba, 71, is being held in custody until his next court date.
Prosecutors said Al-Fayoume was stabbed 26 times. His mother was stabbed at least a dozen times.
Czuba is accused of attacking the two because of their Palestinian origin. He is said, according to prosecutors, to have told Shahin three days before he attacked her that "He was blaming her, not her personally, but because she was Muslim, with what was happening in the Middle East."
Al-Fayoume's uncle said the family has been receiving death threats as a result of the publicity given to the case.
"These days, you speak your mind, you lose your job, you lose your life, you lose your family, you lose your money. And if you don't speak, you lose your life, you lose your money, you lose your job, you lose your family. That's a double standard in this country right now," Mahmoud Yousef said.