Mom who killed daughter, injured son because they were ‘demons’ sentenced to 40 years probation


Inset: Sadiyo Ibrahim Mohamed booking photo Washington County Jail. Mohamed residence morning after crime. Fox affiliate WFTC YouTube screengrab

The Mohamed residence the morning after the crime. Inset: Sadiyo Ibrahim Mohamed booking photo (Fox affiliate WFTC YouTube screengrab / Washington County Jail).

A woman with an extensive history of mental illness who murdered her young daughter and assaulted her young son two years ago will not have to spend any more time in prison after a roughly 30-year prison sentence was stayed in favor of a sentence of 40 years on probation.

Sadiyo Ibrahim Mohamed, 34, beat her daughter, 5, to death with a metal rod in May 2021, according to court records reviewed Monday by Law&Crime.

The child suffered head injuries and was found by police unconscious in a pool of blood when they arrived at Mohamed’s home in Woodbury, Minnesota. Her son, 6, had run into the street screaming as Mohamed chased him. He too was injured with severe contusions on his head and arm.

Mohamed’s daughter was rushed to a hospital and was treated for her injuries for nearly three weeks before she finally died in June 2021. The girl’s liver had been lacerated and according to a Minnesota news outlet Pioneer Press, the child had “multiple brain bleeds,” a broken rib, a skull fracture and bruising throughout her body.

Mohamed’s son was treated for a week and survived the assault. Another child — a toddler — was found in the home unscathed.

Prosecutors said when officers went to arrest Mohamed, she was mumbling to herself and appeared unstable. Court records, including trial testimony from psychologists tasked to assess Mohamed in 2021 and 2022, said she told them that she hadn’t slept for “36 hours straight” before slaying her daughter and that her “manic kicked in and I was very energetic.”

“I had little appetite and little sleep. I was working, working, working, and cleaning everything out of the house,” she said, according to a finding of fact memorandum recounts.

Mohamed’s doctor would testify at trial earlier this year that Mohamed recalled her children “were having a good time” watching cartoons and playing while she online shopped, served them chips, and listened to videos. Her daughter had even wanted to open a package at one point that day but Mohamed denied her, and she appeared to take it quite well.

“She asked about the dress but I told her not right now,” Mohamed said. “We were going to put it away because we had a holiday coming up. I told her she was going to wear it in a couple of weeks and she hugged me and was happy about that too.”

Mohamed told her doctors that her son was watching Spiderman and had begun mimicking the web-slinging motion with his wrist.

That’s when, court records show, Mohamed said she “started thinking they were demons.”

Even though it was well after midnight, she then kicked the children out of the home.

Her daughter was “trying to push the door in because she was afraid of the dark. She reported that her son pushed on the door too and came back in the house and [Mohamed] fell back,” court records state.

“I think I hit him with something. I don’t know what it was. Later on, I read it was a cylinder and I think it was from my curtains. He came upstairs and ran away but my daughter would not leave. That was the time it was a blur. I don’t know. Everything was heightened at that moment. Blurring, and I blacked out too for a few seconds,” she said, according to a memorandum reviewed by Law&Crime.

Washington County District Court records also reviewed Monday show Mohamed has been hospitalized several times and that she was diagnosed with schizophrenia as well as “disorganized thought and auditory hallucinations.” The first time she was committed was in 2013 and then she was committed again — several times — in 2015.

She was committed again in 2016, 2018, and 2020. It was rare that her hospitalizations each year were a one-off event. Records show she was hospitalized some years two or three times.

She exhibited violent behavior, analysts said in her records, including throwing a brick through a window, being “physically aggressive with her husband and assaulting her parents” and when she was under examination by doctors, it was also noted that she “exhibited violent behavior even when not in active psychosis.”

One of the psychologists who examined Mohamed and testified at her trial this year said Mohamed admitted to chasing her son down on the street until some neighbors emerged.

Her son hid behind a woman, Mohamed had recalled, telling the doctor it was at this point that was she “looking at the ground spacing out” when she claimed to hear someone utter the word “miskin.”

“That is a Somali word for a person who is innocent and cannot defend themselves. That’s when I ran back to my daughter. I thought ‘oh my God what have I done. ‘ I tried to call 911 but my phone was dead. I tried to carry my daughter and I prayed to God not to take her away, she was breathing very shallowly,” Mohamed said in 2022.

When she heard the word “miskin,” Mohamed said she was brought back to reality.

“That’s when I realized my children were not demons,” Mohamed said.

While one doctor agreed Mohamed was experiencing psychotic delusions and that the seeming trigger word of “miskin” prompted her to “snap out of it,” another doctor who testified in 2022 disagreed, saying that “snapping out” of a delusion is a theory unsupported by the DSM nor is it generally supported by the medical community. It was more likely that Mohomad was “suffering from a paranoid ideation or something else but it is not a delusion,” records show.

This was an important distinction because paranoid ideation can’t be used for a criminal defense, the doctor added.

State prosecutors said Mohamed denied ever hurting her children but that the truth slipped from the mouth of her young son.

“Defendant’s son told officers the night of the offenses that she had hit him and his sister with a gray cylinder object ‘lots of times’ in the past and he was able to tell police where Defendant kept the object in the home. Additionally, the medical records from Defendant’s deceased daughter indicate that the doctor found evidence of partially healed prior injuries on her body,” prosecutors wrote.

Mohamed was deemed incompetent to stand trial in the immediate months after the attack, but by the spring of 2022, a judge found her competent. Then, a year later, instead of facing a jury of her peers in Minnesota, Mohamed opted for a bench trial. It was split, or bifurcated, into two parts. The first trial was focused on the charges and the second on Mohamed’s state of mind.

In September, she was convicted by a judge of second-degree murder and second-degree assault. Then, when the question of whether Mohamed was truly insane during the act arose in October, Washington County District Court Judge Douglas Meslow found there wasn’t enough evidence to support the insanity or mental illness defense.

Prosecutors asked Mohamed be sentenced to a little over 30 years in prison. She has already served a little over 900 days in prison.

In their memorandum opposing Mohamed’s motion for a downward departure on her sentence, state prosecutors wrote: “Defendant is a violent person who lies about medication compliance and is not amenable to probation supervision in a manner that would protect public safety. A probationary sentence would also unduly depreciate the seriousness of this crime — a brutal murder of an innocent young child.”

“K.A. was a five-year-old girl who had no way of defending herself or getting away from her mother. The person K.A. trusted for her every day needs beat her to death with a metal rod,” prosecutors wrote.

But, as the Pioneer Press reported, Meslow appeared moved by an outpouring of letters from Mohamed’s family and friends who begged for a more compassionate approach to her rehabilitation instead of 30 years in prison.

Mohamed’s mother said her daughter’s struggles with mental illness began when she was a child and it became worse as she aged. Her mother told the Pioneer Press Mohamed fought “relentless battles in her own mind.”

Meslow’s sentence of 40 years on probation for Mohamed hinges on her ability to complete court-ordered mental health treatments while she remains civilly committed.

Online court records show the judge has ordered she have no contact with her children.

An attorney for Mohamed did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

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