First court hearing in murder of Saudi student in US held

Al-Gharibi, 25, was reportedly stabbed to death in his apartment building by a 19-year-old woman, identified as Nicole Marie Rodgers, in January.

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The first court hearing in the murder of Saudi student Al-Walid al-Gharibi was held on Wednesday in the US state of Pennsylvania, with the suspect’s father being arrested after the hearing.

Al-Gharibi, 25, was reportedly stabbed to death in his apartment building by a 19-year-old woman, identified as Nicole Marie Rodgers, in January.

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Police arrested Rodgers and charged her with premeditated murder, theft, and several other charges shortly after the crime occurred.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the judge said the court was waiting to get the DNA results of blood samples at the crime scene.

It also emerged that surveillance video footage from around 4 am to 11 am on the day of the crime was deleted. The landlord installed the camera, and she and al-Gharibi had access to the footage.

The landlord was asked on Wednesday how it was deleted. She said she believed Rodgers took al-Gharibi’s phone after his death and deleted the footage.

Al Arabiya heard a loud verbal exchange inside the courtroom following the hearing. When asked what happened, it appeared that Rodgers’ father tried to move toward an eyewitness, the apartment's landlord, and threatened her.

The prosecutor ordered the father’s detention for 48 hours and issued a restraining order against him.

According to media reports, Rodgers had asked al-Gharibi to help her move some items in her apartment because she could not carry them herself.

When he went to her residence, she reportedly attacked him and left his body in her bathroom.

A neighbor who allegedly heard the attack entered her residence and found al-Gharibi lying in a pool of blood.

A previous court hearing that was scheduled to be held earlier this year was postponed, according to al-Gharibi’s father. A Philadelphia court had rejected releasing Rodgers on bail and requested that she remains in detention until a trial is held.

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