Clearly 17 year old Samuel Sheinbein from Wheaton Maryland had issues and it’s difficult to believe he had the mind set to pull off such a brutal murder. His grisly killing of 17 year old Alfredo Enrique Tollo was like a scene from a horror flick. Known as Freddy, on the afternoon of September 16 1997 the Springbrook High School senior was beaten with the butt of a sawed off shotgun, he was stabbed several times in the neck and chest, his arms and legs were cut off with a circular saw and he was torched. If his murder wasn’t horrendous enough, the way Samuel managed to escape prosecution in a United States courtroom was almost ingenious and definitely not usual for the average teen murderer in Maryland.
Apparently Samuel needed someone to practice his murder skills on and because Alfredo had embarrassed a friend of his – 17 year old Aaron Benjamin Needle from Rockville – one week later Alfredo became a target. Together Samuel and Aaron – both middle class kids – lured Alfredo to Sam’s parents house where Alfredo was attacked. An autopsy said he died from a combination of blunt force trauma to the head, cutting wounds on the neck and chest and ligature strangulation. After they wrapped his limbs in garbage bags and got rid of them (they’ve never been found) they burned his remains in a garage where a real estate agent later found it. The pair fled to Manhattan New York where they called their parents and told them what they did. Aaron’s parents sent him money to get a train ticket back to Maryland where he was arrested in the parking lot of his lawyer’s office. Samuel’s parents however, went all out for him. They drove to Manhattan, met him at an Exxon gas station and drove him to JFK airport with a passport and a plane ticket to Israel. His escape to Israel set off a two year crusade over the fight to have him prosecuted in the United States because once Samuel got to Israel he applied for and got Israeli citizenship even though he had never even been to Israel before. Since Israeli law protects it’s citizens from being extradited to other countries even if the crime was committed in another country Samuel’s father – a lawyer who held citizenships in both the United States and Israel – was well aware that if his son faced prosecution in the United States he basically was screwed. If he faced prosecution in Israel he could get a much lesser sentence. The United States tried unsuccessfully to get Samuel back to face trial for the murder but he accepted a plea deal after pleading guilty in Israel and got a 24 year prison sentence in a maximum security prison near the city of Ramla. Aaron wasn’t so lucky. Described as a depressed teen who had no real friends and struggled with a marihuana addiction, on the day before his trial was to start he tied a bed sheet to a ceiling pipe in his jail cell and hung himself. Samuel’s father was disbarred in 2002 for helping his son to escape and he and his wife promptly moved to Israel to be closer to their son who’s eligible for parole in 2013 when he’s 33 years old.
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