SIOUX CITY -- In the four months prior to his arrest on suspicion of fatally stabbing his roommate, Abdiqadar Sharif was arrested and pleaded guilty three times to assaulting two other people.
Sharif, 38, was arrested Sunday on a charge of first-degree murder and is accused of stabbing his roommate, Guled Nur, during an altercation at their home in the Phoenix Apartments, 1003 Pierce St.
Associate District Judge John Nelson on Monday set Sharif's bond at $500,000 and scheduled his preliminary hearing for Nov. 8. Sharif remains in custody in the Woodbury County Jail.
Sioux City police continued to investigate the stabbing Tuesday. According to court documents, Sharif and Nur began fighting inside their apartment at about 3 a.m. Sharif grabbed a knife and chased Nur into the hallway while swinging at him with the knife, striking him several times. After Nur fell to the floor outside their apartment, Sharif went back inside and retrieved some beer before leaving. He kicked Nur in the head as he walked past him to another apartment, court documents said.
When arrested, Sharif told officers his name was Elmi Said. Sioux City Police Chief Rex Mueller said officers determined the name was an alias and used fingerprints to verify his name.
Sharif's fingerprints would have been on file from any of three recent arrests.
He was charged with domestic abuse assault on June 4 after getting into an argument with his wife and grabbing her, scratching her left arm and pushing her to the floor. He pleaded guilty on June 7 to an amended charge of simple assault, a simple misdemeanor, and Nelson sentenced him to five days in jail and fined him $65.
Sharif was arrested again on Aug. 12 and charged with domestic abuse assault for an incident in which his wife said she was awakened by Sharif, who was choking her. Sharif pleaded guilty on Aug. 28 to misdemeanor domestic abuse assault. District Judge Duane Hoffmeyer sentenced Sharif to 365 days in jail, and suspended all but 20 days of the sentence. Sharif was given credit for 20 days he had already served in jail, fined $625, ordered to complete a treatment program for domestic abuse offenders and placed on probation for one year. He was also ordered to have no contact with his wife for five years.
On Sept. 6, Sharif was arrested on a simple misdemeanor charge of assault after he became upset with a friend who had told him he should be nicer to his wife. Sharif punched the man in the head, cutting the man's right ear. Sharif pleaded guilty, and Magistrate Dan Vakulskas sentenced him to 10 days in jail.
On Sept. 14, Assistant Woodbury County Attorney Kristine Timmins filed an application to revoke Sharif's probation because his September arrest was a violation of a condition of his probation requiring him to obey all laws. An arrest warrant was issued for Sharif on Sept. 17 and it was served on Sharif after he was arrested Sunday.
First Assistant Woodbury County Attorney Mark Campbell said Iowa Supreme Court rules prevent the county attorney's office from commenting about cases beyond what's contained in public records. Campbell said he could not comment on aspects of Sharif's previous cases such as the plea negotiations that led to Sharif's guilty pleas and sentences.
Mueller said he knows citizens will wonder why Sharif, who is from Somalia, was not still in custody from his previous convictions or why federal immigration officials had not begun a case against him. Mueller said he's observed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seldom gets involved with cases in which the charges are less than forcible felonies. None of Sharif's previous charges reached that level.
"You can always ask those questions," Mueller said. "I don't know if there's any possible way for our country to keep up with undocumented immigrants who commit misdemeanor crimes."
Mueller said enforcement of immigration crimes is a federal law enforcement responsibility, and his department would cooperate with federal officials if they began an investigation into Sharif's immigration status. Mueller said Tuesday that it didn't appear that federal authorities had contacted Sioux City police about Sharif, but it's possible they could become involved in the case later.