Top Egyptian Official Backs Son Who Could Face Death Penalty In Double Murder Of California Men
British Prime Minister Theresa May is greeted by Nabila Makram, Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates’ Affairs for the first Arab-European Summit on February 24, 2019 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A top Egyptian official whose son could face the death penalty over an alleged double murder in California last month said on Saturday that she is “under distress,” but believes he is innocent.

Ramy Hani Mounir Fahim, 26, whose mother, Nabila Makram, is Egypt’s minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs, stabbed the two men to death in their Anaheim apartment on April 19, according to authorities. Special circumstances surrounding the attack make Fahim eligible for the death penalty, officials said.

“My family and I are under severe distress following my son being charged with murder in the U.S.,” Makram said on Facebook. “Doing my duties as a minister in the Egyptian government does not conflict at all with me being a believing mother who bravely faces the plight of her son.”

Fahim killed his co-worker, 23-year-old Griffin Cuomo, then fatally stabbed Cuomo’s roommate, Jonathan Bahm, also 23, early on the morning of April 19, according to police. Cuomo and Fahim were co-workers together at Pence Wealth Management in Orange County. Fahim was a data engineer. Detectives recovered a knife at the scene and Fahim’s car was also located nearby.

“These young men were just starting to live out their dreams and find their places in the world. But an intruder who stalked them and then slashed them to death in their own home interrupted those dreams,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement.

Ramy Hani Mounir Fahim, the son of a top Egyptian official, could face the death penalty if convicted of a double murder

Ramy Hani Mounir Fahim, whose mother, Nabila Makram, is Egypt’s minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs, allegedly stabbed two men to death (Anaheim Police Department)

Fahim, who lives in Irvine, California, was charged with two counts of murder, and two enhancements each of lying in wait, multiple murders, and the personal use of a deadly weapon. The “lying in wait” enhancement, for allegedly ambushing the victims in their apartment, is what could lead to Fahim’s execution, if he is found guilty. He was seen lurking around the victims’ apartment complex before the murders, police said.

“The callous way that two young lives were ended cannot be ignored and we will do everything we can to ensure justice is served,” Spitzer said in the statement.

Fahim has been held without bail since April.

Authorities say a building security guard encountered Fahim on the apartment complex roof at midnight on April 18, just before Cuomo and Bahm were killed. Fahim was also seen on the same floor of the victims’ apartment on the morning of the killings and was still in the apartment when police responded to a 911 call, Spitzer said.