Trial Begins for Murder of Somali Leader


The trial of a man accused of fatally shooting a local religious leader is currently in progress. John Wooden Jr. faces 11 charges in relation to the shooting of Imam Mohamed Hassan Adam in December 2021. The prosecution and defense presented their opening statements to the jury, followed by testimonies from witnesses. Wooden’s defense attorney initially requested a bench trial, but it was evident that a jury was present in the courtroom during the commencement of the trial.

The prosecution began by presenting the factual details of the case. According to prosecutor Jack Wong, law enforcement officers discovered the body of Mohamed Hassan Adam, along with his yellow GMC van and shell casings, at 1486 Windsor Ave. in Franklin County. Wong emphasized the significance of cell phone and video evidence, stating that concealment would be a central theme throughout the trial. However, Wooden’s defense countered by arguing that the state’s evidence would not be sufficient to secure a conviction.

Several witnesses, including Adam’s daughter, ex-wife, and two Columbus police officers, testified on Tuesday. The jury also viewed new body camera footage from December 24, the day Adam’s body was found. With only the second day of the trial completed, there are still numerous witnesses expected to testify over the next week and a half.