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Convicted Wife-Killer Overdoses In Prison The Night Before His Sentencing

Bashar Ghazawi was convicted on Monday for killing his wife, Noor Ghazawi, in 2018. Hours before he was due to be sentenced, he was found unresponsive in his jail cell from a suspected overdose and subsequently died.

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A Louisville man who was convicted on Monday of killing his wife died in his jail cell on Monday night of a suspected overdose.

Bashar Muhieddin Ghazawi, 39, was found unresponsive in his cell in the Louisville Metro Corrections center at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, according to Louisville news station WAVE. Suspecting an overdose, authorities transported him to the University of Louisville Hospital, where he was pronounced dead before 8:00 p.m.

Louisville Corrections Fraternal Order of Police president Daniel Johnson alleged that inmates noticed Ghazawi was unconscious but did not use the Narcan available to them and instead covered him up as though he were sleeping, Louisville CBS affiliate WLKY and Fox affiliate WDRB reported. He said officers noticed the man 30 minutes later and tried to perform life-saving measures but were unsuccessful.

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Louisville Metro Department of Corrections Director Jerry Collins alleged to the station that Ghazawi procured the drugs from "those who seek to profit by smuggling these dangerous substances into the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections."

Ghazawi's lawyer, Rob Eggert, told WDRB that he believes his client had severe mental illness and his overdose was yet another suicide attempt.

A police handout of Bashar Ghazawi

Eggert also told reporter Jason Riley that neither LMDC nor Jefferson County Sheriff's Office personnel notified Ghazawi's family of his death on Monday night or Tuesday morning, and Eggert had to tell them when they appeared in court on Tuesday to attend his sentencing. Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Lt. Col. Carl Yates told Riley that his office was only notified when they went to transfer him to court for said sentencing.

Ghazawi was convicted by a jury on Monday of the 2018 murder of his wife, Noor Ghazawi, 32, as well as on counts of escape, fleeing and evading police, criminal mischief and resisting arrest, according to WDRB.

A witness saw Bashar Ghazawi shoot his wife several times outside their apartment on July 8, after which he shot himself in the head, according to reports from WDRB. A neighbor later told WAVE that the couple's 5-year-old child witnessed the shootings.

Noor Ghazawi was pronounced dead at the scene, but Bashar Ghazawi was taken to the hospital and ultimately survived the suicide attempt.

Police say that Bashar Ghazawi then attempted to escape police custody while at the hospital, WAVE reported.

Upon his release from the hospital on July 23, 2018, he was charged with felony murder, domestic violence murder and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, according to WAVE. His booking report, reviewed by Oxygen.com, reflects that he was also booked on multiple counts related to his escape attempt as well as on drug charges.

A review of his records with the Kentucky Department of Corrections by Oxygen.com indicates two previous drug-related felony convictions dating back to 2014.

Family told WAVE after the murder that the couple had been married since 2005 and had three children, who were ages 12, 10 and 5. Neighbors said the couple owned a Middle Eastern bakery in the area.

Noor Ghazawi was buried in her native Jordan, according to her family. 

Prior to his trial and death, the court had ordered at least two competency hearings for Bashar Ghazawi, according to WAVE. Eggert, his lawyer, referenced the prosecution's position that Bashar Ghazawi had been competent to stand trial in his statement after the death.

"My thoughts are with his family," Eggert told WDRB.

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