A status conference hearing for Wael Ali, a 24-year-old Columbia resident accused of killing his twin brother in 2007, was postponed Thursday morning at Howard County Circuit Court.
Ali was set to appear before Judge Richard Bernhardt at 8:30 a.m., but the hearing was postponed until April 16, according to Ali’s defense attorney Jason Shapiro.
“I’m hopeful the case will come to a close on April 16,” said Shapiro. “We’ve made some real headway into resolving the case.”
One week ago, a in Ali’s one-and-a-half week murder trial after the jury could not come to a decision in the case. The jury deliberated for over 20 hours.
Wasel Ali's decomposing body was found in August 2007 on a secluded pathway behind Green Meadow Drive in Columbia. A medical examiner said Wasel Ali died of asphyxiation.
The prosecution did not comment on whether it would continue to pursue the case after the mistrial. State’s Attorney James Dietrich said he couldn’t comment because the case is still technically pending.
Ali’s father said his son was innocent after the trial concluded last week. Ali is currently being held at the Howard County Detention Center in Jessup. Ali was indicted in September of 2011 after a cold case investigation concluded he was the person who killed his twin brother.
The defense alleged the police focused too much on Wael Ali at the expense of other possible leads. There was no physical evidence presented at the trial that directly linked Wael Ali to the body or the crime scene.
After the trial, Shapiro said, "I believe if everything was laid out before this jury they would have found my client not guilty."
"I believe that the way the cold case investigator handled this case, where he zoned in and locked in on my client, led to an unjust prosecution," the defense attorney said.