Ragheb and Nabil Sulaiman's First Day in Court Postponed Again Until January

Ragheb and Nabil Sulaiman, the Perrine convenience store clerks accused to beating a customer to death last month in an argument over pocket change, will have to wait another couple weeks for their first day in court. Their arraignment, which was scheduled this morning, has been bumped back until January 13, says Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors asked for extra time to finish their investigation into the assault, and the Sulaimans' attorney didn't object, Griffith says.

The case has also been complicated by the death of the presiding judge. Judge Roberto Piniero, a well respected court veteran, died from complications from a stroke at age 56 on Dec. 9.

The Sulaimans' contentious case began on Nov. 18 when the QuickStop clerks got into a heated argument with a customer named Akil Oliver. Witnesses later said Oliver was steamed because he believed he'd been shorted seven cents change.

When Oliver stormed back into the store -- and allegedly called the Sulaimans "fucking Arabs" and insulted their family -- police say 19-year-old Nabil hit him with a bottle before 24-year-old Ragheb killed him with a crowbar.

The case prompted has protests in Perrine against the store. Ragheb faces charges of second-degree murder, while Nabil could be charged with aggravated assault.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink