The son of a former Douglass High School administrator accused in separate cases of attacking the school's principal and choking his mother has avoided jail after agreeing to plead no contest, court records show.
Elijah Salaam Mohammed, however, faces up to 24 years in prison if he runs afoul of the law over the next 10 years, according to a plea deal with prosecutors that produced a deferred sentence.
Mohammed, 32, of Oklahoma City, pleaded no contest to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the March 2, 2010, attack on former Douglass Principal Brian Staples.
Staples resigned in November, after the NAACP accused him of altering grades and attendance records, and an investigation followed.
Mohammed and two other men — Nathaniel Wheeler and Ryan Harper — were charged in the attack on Staples, who was assaulted in the school parking lot by a man he identified in a photo lineup as Harper, police said.
Harper pleaded no contest to the charges last month and received a five-year suspended sentence, with all but the first eight months suspended, records show.
Wheeler's case is still pending.
Mohammed said in court papers he believed the state had enough evidence for a jury to find him guilty at trial.
“We were happy with the arrangement,” said Irven Box, Mohammed's attorney.
Attack on mother
Mohammed also pleaded no contest last month to charges of domestic abuse by strangulation and interference with an emergency telephone call in the Oct. 11, 2011, attack on his mother, Marcia Fay Muhammed, a former Douglass assistant principal.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Mohammed entered his mother's Oklahoma City home, started hitting her in the head with his hands and grabbed her by the throat with both hands, saying he was going to “choke her out.”
Mohammed told his mother that if he heard anything out of her mouth he would “burn the house down with the victim inside it,” police reported.
A witness intervened, police said, stopping the attack and keeping Mohammed from entering the garage where the “gas cans were.”
In 2010, Marcia Muhammad was put on administrative leave. Shortly after, Staples was attacked in the school parking lot.
Staples recommended to the school board in June 2011 that Muhammed be fired for disobedience, and she was.
Muhammad was among those leading the charge for Staples to be fired. She filed a complaint against Staples with the U.S. Department of Education.