Almost a year after being charged with murder, and less than three weeks since those accusations were dropped, a former UCM student has returned home.
Ziyad Abid, 24, left for Saudi Arabia on Monday. He had been facing one count each of murder and armed criminal action in the death of William Blaine Whitworth, 25. The probable cause statement indicates roommate Reginald Singletary, Jr. told investigators he shot Whitworth at Abid’s request, in exchange for money.
Charges against Abid were dropped August 2nd. According to prosecutors, information from a key witness changed, and the state was left with insufficient evidence to prosecute Abid.
After the charges were filed, Abid was removed from the University of Central Missouri. This caused him to lose his student visa.
Both men’s bond was initially set at $1 million. That was soon denied to Abid after a judge ruled him a “flight risk,” even though he had been forced to forfeit his passport, travel documents, and pilot’s license. It was later set at $2 million. Abid’s family did not have those funds available, but convinced the Saudi government to post his bond. A Missouri Court of Appeals denied this option. Attorney General Chris Koster’s office said in June that his “surety only” bail must be posted by a bonding company.
Circuit Court Judge Michael Wagner again revoked Abid’s bond amidst fears that if he posted bond, he would be turned over to the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He could then have been returned to Saudi Arabia, thereby avoiding the requirement to stand trial.
Abid had been scheduled to go before a jury August 20th.
Singletary is still charged with murder and armed criminal action. He will next appear in a Johnson County Courtroom for a pre-trial conference January 6th at 3:00 p.m. Singletary’s jury trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday, February 4th at 9:30 a.m.