A man on trial for strangling the daughter of a Hall of Fame football player in 1999 broke down in court Tuesday as prosecutors showed an emotional video of his confession just days after the murder.
Mohammed Haroon Ali, 36, is charged with killing his girlfriend Tracey Biletnikoff -- the daughter of former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff -- on Feb. 15, 1999 at a drug rehab facility in San Mateo.
District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe Tuesday morning showed a videotape of Ali and San Mateo County Sheriff's Detective Doug Steiner, who questioned the defendant on Feb. 18 in San Diego after he was arrested trying to cross the border from Mexico in Biletnikoff's car.
During the interview, Ali said he was inspired to tell the truth by a dream he had while in jail, in which Tracey appeared all in white surrounded by clouds.
Ali then described in detail the fight with his girlfriend that took place in the office at "Friendship Hall," a meeting place at the Project 90 substance abuse treatment center where both had been through rehab for drug addictions and worked as counselors
Ali said she stood in the office doorway and refused to let him leave.
He said he grabbed her by the shoulders and told her to move.
When she refused to move, Ali said his hands moved from her shoulders to her neck.
Ali said that a vicious struggle ensued, with Biletnikoff swinging her fists wildly at his face and head while he continued to strangle her and force her onto the ground.
Biletnikoff's body became limp in Ali's arms and "white stuff" came out of her mouth, he said.
While that moment of the videotaped confession played on a screen in front of the courtroom, Ali sat with his head down and sobbed.
Ali faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.
Defense attorney Peter Goldscheider has argued that the homicide was a crime of passion, which carries a much shorter sentence.
This is the second time that Ali has been on trial in San Mateo County Superior Court for the 1999 murder.
He was convicted of first-degree murder in 2001 and sentenced to 64 years to life in prison.
In 2009, an appellate court overturned the conviction stating that prosecutors had improperly dismissed at least one black juror, thus requiring a retrial.
Bay City News.