A judge has determined that the man accused of murder and hate crimes for allegedly stabbing to death a six-year-old Muslim boy must be held without bail.
In Plainfield, Illinois, Joseph Czuba, 71, is accused of murdering Wadea Al-Fayoume and gravely wounding his mother.
The landlord allegedly targeted the two Muslim tenants because of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and their religion. Monday marked the boy's burial.
Mr. Czuba appeared in court on Monday wearing scarlet prison garb and white hair matted together. He spoke momentarily to confirm that a court-appointed public defender would be required.
In addition to being detained without bail, Mr. Czuba is prohibited from contacting Wadea's mother, Hanaan Shahin, 32. He is due back in court on October 30.
According to the Chicago Tribune, prosecutors stated in court that Mr. Czuba "believed he was in danger and that she [Ms. Shahin] was going to contact Palestinian friends to come and harm him" and that the electricity grid would fail due to an unspecified attack.
According to the authorities, the pair's proprietor, Mr. Czuba, attacked them with a large, military-style knife.
Despite receiving more than a dozen stab wounds, Ms. Shahin was able to escape to a bathroom and contact the police. Wadea, her son, was stabbed over two dozen times and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
One of the boy's uncles mentioned that he believed Mr. Czuba had become enraged because of coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict, including claims that Hamas combatants had beheaded Israeli infants.
According to police, Mr. Czuba was sitting on the ground outside the residence with a visible laceration on his face when they arrived. During the initial phase of interrogation, he gave no statement to the detectives.
On Monday afternoon, a funeral service was conducted in Bridgeview, which is often referred to as "Little Palestine" due to its large Palestinian-American population. A large police presence was present at the event, which was attended by several hundred individuals.
A makeshift memorial consisting of a stuffed Spider-Man and other children's toys stood at the crime site on Monday morning. Large garbage heaps and additional children's items were visible in the backyard of the property.
Mr. Czuba had apparently put up crosses throughout the property.
When Hamas crossed the border from the Gaza Strip to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers, over 1,500 Israelis died.
According to Palestinian authorities, Israel's bombing has resulted in the deaths of nearly 2,700 people in Gaza, with an estimated 1,000 still missing under the debris.
Since Hamas's attack more than a week ago, the FBI stated on Sunday that the number of threats reported in the United States has increased.
The majority have been declared not credible, according to a top FBI official. Targeted are both Jewish and Muslim institutions.
After the incident in Plainfield, Ahmed Rehab, the director of the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), stated that Wadea "paid the price for the atmosphere of hate and otherization and dehumanization that, candidly, I believe we are witnessing in the United States."