Celebrity Clipping from Oxnard Press Courier, Wed, Apr 7, 1976.

Clipped from US, California, Oxnard, Oxnard Press Courier, April 7, 1976

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - A Superior Court jury of six women and six men has convicted a Canadian of first degree murder in the slaying of Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, patriarch of the Middle Eastern Christian church.The guilty verdict was returned Monday night against David Malek Ismail, 40, of Ontario, Canada, a member of the Church of the East and the Assyrians. He will be sentenced April 26. He could draw life imprisonment.The 66-year-old victim waskilled by three gunshots last November 4 on the doorstep of his San Jose home. The motive was never fully explained during the four-week trial.Prosecutor Ken Robinson offered testimony in the trial that a controversial marriage by the patriarch, along with political issues, touched off a achurch’s haff-million members.Testifying in his own defense, Ismail denied there was any conspiracy but admitted he was armed with a .22-caliber pistol. He said he bought the gun the night before he went to the murdered man’s home to inform him that As-Canada disapproved of his marriage.Ismail said this enraged the leader. He said he was kicked and spat upon and said bad words about my father I was down. After that I don’t remember nothing that happened.”capacity at the time of theshooting and had acted in self defense when he pulled the trigger. ’No successor has yet been named to the patriarch, whose demise ended a 620-year reign by members of the Shimun line. Church leadership was banded down from unde toThe defense daimed Ismail the Syrian Church members in suffered diminished mental nephew