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Mahmoud Hindi's home in Louisville, Ky. Hindi is accused
JOHN SOMMERS II/THE COURIER-JOURNAL
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Date published: 9/9/2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--A Louisville man accused of opening fire at a homeowners association meeting, killing one and critically wounding another, was ordered held on a $1 million bond Saturday at an initial court hearing where a prosecutor called him "the epitome of danger to the community."
A not-guilty plea was entered on behalf of 55-year-old Mahmoud Yousef Hindi to charges of murder, assault and wanton endangerment in the Thursday evening shooting at a church.
Dressed in a blue jail outfit, Hindi showed no emotion and did not speak as he stood before a judge.
Afterward, defense attorney Todd Lewis called the case a "horrendous tragedy" and said the Hindi family's thoughts were with the victims' families. Lewis asked for patience in unraveling the case.
"We look forward to our day in court," he told reporters. "There's always another side to things."
What specifically sparked the attack wasn't clear.
Police say Hindi, a doctor educated in Jordan, had a history of disputes with the homeowners group revolving around a fence that the association said didn't meet its height or design requirements in the upscale neighborhood of Spring Creek.
The association's attorney says the organization brought the zoning violation charges to the city. Hindi wrote several letters to the attorney, expressing anger and contempt for the attorney.
In one letter that ranted about several neighbors, Hindi cited the Quran, the theory of creationism, the idea that America has gone to Communism, threatens to form his own homeowners association and accused neighbors of stealing his "no trespassing signs" in the dispute over the fence.
"You would not believe some of the crap he wrote in these letters," said Mark Wagner, a former president of the homeowners group. "It was rambling stuff."
Wagner, who used to live near Hindi, said his predecessor as association president resigned from the post and abruptly moved from the neighborhood after having property-line disputes with Hindi.
"They were so scared of him that they moved," Wagner said in a phone interview. "They dumped their house. They sold it to the first person who looked at their house to get away from this guy."
Slain was 73-year-old David Merritt, a one-time association president, who was shot once in the head and died at the scene, according to a deputy coroner.