Accused in 2017 Ganatchio Trail attack found guilty of second-degree murder

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Habibullah Ahmadi, a 24-year-old man from Windsor, Ont., has been found guilty of second-degree murder in connection to a vicious attack on an elderly woman in 2017 near the Ganatchio Trail.

Ahmadi was initially charged with aggravated assault in October 2017 after Sara Anne Widholm, who was 75 years old at the time, was found unconscious near the trail in the city's east end.

Widholm was transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries and died a year later in 2018. After Widholm's death, the charge against Ahmadi was upgraded to second-degree murder.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas handed down the decision Friday after a 14-day trial in September.

Testimony showed Ahmadi had consumed magic mushrooms and smoked marijuana at the time of the attack. However, Thomas said that Ahmadi had intent to murder and cause bodily harm leading to reckless death.

Thomas said Ahmadi was still in the "right state of mind" to understand what he was doing when he beat Widholm on Oct. 8, 2017.

"We are very pleased with the ruling of Justice Thomas, it's obvious that he listened very carefully to all of the evidence, and all of the evidence was presented in this case, and came to the determination that he did in relation to Mr. Ahmadi's intent for murder in this case," said assistant Crown attorney Renee Puskas outside the courtroom Friday.

Tahmina Aziz/CBC
Tahmina Aziz/CBC

"It was an absolutely vicious beating and although he had consumed drugs, it was quite obvious he knew what he was doing," she added.

Defense Lawyer Patricia Brown said she disagrees with Thomas's perspective on Ahmadi's state of mind at the time of the attack.

Ahmadi's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11-12, 2021.