A California man who allegedly stabbed two recent university graduates to death at an apartment building last week could face the death penalty, officials said.
Prosecutors announced Friday upgraded murder charges were filed again Ramy Hany Mounir Fahim, 26, who’s accused in the fatal knife attacks on his 23-year-old co-worker, Griffin Cuomo and Cuomo's roommate, 23-year-old Jonathan Bahm. Both were found slain in their Anaheim apartment on April 19.
Fahim is charged with two counts of murder, and two enhancements for lying in wait, multiple murders and the personal use of a deadly weapon, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com. The special circumstances charges of lying in wait make Fahim eligible for capital punishment.
Both victims had recently graduated with degrees in their respective fields from Chapman University, officials said. A spokesperson for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office on Monday described the double murder as a “horrifically sad case.”
“These young men were just starting to live out their dreams and find their places in the world,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement last week. “But an intruder who stalked them and then slashed them to death in their own home interrupted those dreams.”
“The callous way that two young lives were ended cannot be ignored and we will do everything we can to ensure justice is served," he added.
On April 19, police responded to a 911 call around 6:30 a.m. at Cuomo and Griffin’s apartment on Katella Avenue in Anaheim. Upon arrival, officers found the two roommates had been stabbed to death. Fahim was also located inside the dwelling and arrested.
Detectives, however, suspect Griffin and Bahm were killed upwards of five hours earlier. Roughly an hour before the double killing — at approximately midnight — a security guard spotted Fahim on the roof of the apartment complex. He was then seen roaming the halls of the apartment after midnight but before the bodies were discovered.
An official motive hasn’t been released. Authorities said Fahim and Griffin worked together at a wealth management company in Orange County.
Bahm, an engineering student, and Cuomo, a communications major, both graduated from Chapman University in May 2021, a spokesperson for the school said.
“I am heartbroken to share that two recent graduates of Chapman University were tragically killed this week while at their home in Anaheim,” Executive Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer Matt Parlow said in a statement sent Oxygen.com on Monday. “On behalf of the university, I want to extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends and recent classmates of Griffin Cuomo and Jonathan Bahm, who both graduated from Chapman just this past May.”
Condolences have since poured in from professors and fellow students, as well, after news of the young mens’ deaths spread on campus.
“I learned that I could count on Jonathan to show up to every class with his camera on, give me a smile and a wave when I greeted the class, and humor me by at least pretending to laugh at my bad jokes,” Dr. Erik Linstead, the Associate Dean for the Fowler School of Engineering said in a statement regarding Bahm’s abrupt death.
Bahm was also regarded as a “capable computer scientist,” the associate engineering dean said.
“But I’ll remember him as someone who made the effort to show me kindness when I needed it most,” Linstead added. “My thoughts are with his family, friends, and everyone whose lives were made better by having him be a part of it.”
Cuomo, who received a senior STAR award for his academic contributions upon his graduation last year, was also memorialized as a driven student with a “fun personality.”
“He is somebody who is so hard working and who doesn’t give up when the going gets tough but just works harder, and is always looking to learn and improve and push himself,” Sara Labelle, Assistant Dean for the School of Communication said of Cuomo in a 2021 video honoring him. “He inspires the people around him with his work ethic and with his positive attitude.”
Prosecutors haven’t yet indicated whether they will actually seek capital punishment in the double murder after filing enhanced charges against Fahim. He doesn't appear to have a past criminal history in Orange County.
The 26-year-old is being held without bail at a county detention facility, according to online jail records obtained by Oxygen.com. His next court date is set for May 6. Fahim hasn’t yet entered a plea on his behalf, prosecutors said.
His attorney, Thomas Welbourne, wasn't immediately available for comment on Monday.
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