Abdul-Munim Sombat Jitmoud’s son was killed 2 and a half years ago while delivering a Pizza Hut order. Now, after so much time has passed, he has gotten the chance for closure. Not only has he seen his son’s killer brought to justice, but he has also taken a big step toward forgiveness.
In April of 2015, Salahuddin Jitmoud was working in Lexington, Kentucky for Pizza Hut. He went to make a delivery to an apartment complex, and was robbed and stabbed to death. Trey Alexander Relford is one of 3 men believed to have carried out the stalking of Pizza Hut drivers, and the subsequent murder of Salahuddin Jitmoud.
At the end of Relford’s trial, the victim’s father, Jitmoud, shocked the Kentucky courtroom on November 7 when the sentencing was passed down. He extended forgiveness to one of the men responsible for his son’s killing. “Forgiveness is the greatest gift of charity in Islam,” he said while on the witness stand. And then he wrapped his arms around the 24-year-old man who had killed his son.
The judge called a recess, overcome with emotion. Members of both families then wept and embraced one another. Although the district attorney, Kathy Phillips, was touched by the scene in the courtroom, she reminded everyone of the reality of the matter. “He set up the robbery, he provided the knife, he tampered with evidence, and he is the one who ate the pizza afterward,” she said.
Relford was sentenced to 31 years in prison.
Relford also had a chance to speak in the courtroom that day. “I do applaud you because it takes a powerful man to know that someone has hurt them and to get up there and say what you just said,” Relford said. “I can’t imagine the hurt, the pain.”
He added: “Thank you for your forgiveness.”