A father hugged and forgave a man convicted over the murder of his son, saying he had done so in the spirit of Islam.
Trey Relford was jailed for 31 years after admitting complicity in the robbery and murder of Salahuddin Jitmoud, a 22-year-old pizza delivery driver in Lexington, Kentucky.
The young man was making his final delivery of the night when he was fatally attacked. It was said Relford had planned the robbery, and he denied being the one who killed Mr Jitmoud.
On Tuesday Mr Jitmoud’s father, Sombat, reduced a courtroom to tears by saying he forgave Relford. At one point the judge even had to call a recess from the emotional hearing.
According to CNN, he said “Islam teaches that God will not be able to forgive” someone unless the person they wronged has first done so.
He said: “I’m angry at the devil, who’s misguiding you and misleading you to do such a horrible crime.
“I don’t blame you. I’m not angry at you. I forgive you. Whatever happens to you is from Allah. Let the believer put their trust in Him.”
After addressing the court he stepped down from the stand and hugged Relford, who was himself in tears.
Both Relford and his mother apologised to Mr Jitmoud.