Judge Refuses Reduced Sentence For Md. Doctor

Zakaria Oweiss tells judge 'I don't know' when asked if he killed wife

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    Zakaria Oweiss had sought a reduction to his 30-year prison sentence.

    A judge has refused to reduce the sentence of a Potomac doctor convicted a decade ago of beating his wife to death with a rubber mallet hammer.

    Montgomery County Circuit Judge Michael Pincus on Thursday denied 68-year-old Zakaria Oweiss' request to reduce his 30-year sentence.

    Oweiss was convicted for the August 2001 murder of his real estate agent wife Marianne Oweiss in their Potomac home. Prosecutors said that Oweiss killed her because he couldn't deal with her alleged infidelity. According to them, one of Oweiss' sons heard his mother screaming and found his father with a hammer and telling him not to call police until he had disposed of the murder weapon.

    The Washington Post reports that at Thursday's hearing, Oweiss suggested that he was suffering from hypoglycemia the morning his wife was slain and that he couldn't explain how it happened.

    "I don't know, your honor, if I did it or not," Oweiss told Judge Pincus.

    In asking for a reduced sentence, Oweiss' lawyers cited the doctor's exemplary behavior in prison and his failing health. Oweiss' attorney said he suffers from diabetes and coronary artery disease.