Summary:

Paragraphs 17 & 18 read: "Kazigo said Mulumba, who had attempted suicide several times, had been taking an antidepressant prescribed by their father. After an argument last summer over Mulumba's failure to mow the lawn, she said, the elder Kazigo stopped writing the prescriptions."

"Mulumba went to a hospital and got a two-week refill, but as the supply began to dwindle, he cut his dosage in half; she believes that was a factor in the killing."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/05/10/sisters.plea.ap/


MINEOLA, New York (AP) -- A man who savagely bludgeoning his father to death was sentenced to 20 years in prison Wednesday, despite pleas for leniency from relatives who said the father had abused his entire family for years.

Mulumba Kazigo, 26, sat stoically as Nassau County Court Judge William Donnino read the sentence.

Kazigo declined to withdraw his guilty plea in the August 2004 slaying.

"If I could do this all over again and give his life back, I would," said Kazigo, sitting in handcuffs at the defense table for the sentencing. "But I cannot change what happened on that morning."

His sister, Nakizito N. Kazigo, is an Army doctor serving in Afghanistan.

"In my wildest dreams I never imagined my brother would ... put an end to my mother's beatings the only way he knew would be effective," Nakizito Kazigo wrote in a plea for leniency for her brother.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, although sympathetic, said a deal is a deal.

Rice, elected last November after criticizing plea bargains by her predecessor, said Mulumba's actions reflect premeditation. "This is a heinous, heinous murder," she said. "The victim was not only viciously beaten with a baseball bat as he slept, his throat was slit."

Rice added that the family history of abuse was a mitigating factor, but "it does not obviate the need for serious punishment."

In a seven-page letter to Rice and provided by the defense to The Associated Press, Nakizito Kazigo recalled, "the sick way we were all beaten as we grew up, screaming, begging for mercy, running away only to be forced back for more or tied up so we couldn't move.

"Sanity comes with the ability to block those images," she said.

In her heartbreaking appeal to Rice, Nakizito Kazigo blames herself for telling Mulumba last summer that their father was still beating their mother, Caroline, and forcing her to sleep on the bedroom floor. That's when Mulumba went to confront their father.

"Ms. Rice, if I could have foreseen this moment, sitting in a makeshift Army chow hall in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, typing a letter explaining our family's illness in attempt to get a lesser sentence for my brother, I would have lied," she said.

"I would have happily said, 'Of course not, silly. I'm kidding. Daddy wouldn't hit mommy. She is 60, for crying out loud. He's not that cruel."'

But on August 24, 2005, Mulumba Kazigo broke into a Long Island apartment that his 67-year-old father used while working in the emergency room at the Nassau County Medical Center. He killed him and dumped the body near the Kazigo family home in Somers, about 47 miles northeast of New York City.

The former State University of New York at Albany student later confessed, and led authorities to the remains.

Kazigo said Mulumba, who had attempted suicide several times, had been taking an antidepressant prescribed by their father. After an argument last summer over Mulumba's failure to mow the lawn, she said, the elder Kazigo stopped writing the prescriptions.

Mulumba went to a hospital and got a two-week refill, but as the supply began to dwindle, he cut his dosage in half; she believes that was a factor in the killing.

"Sanity comes with the ability to block those images and accept inaction for the sake of self-preservation. Insanity gives one no such filter on anger," she wrote. "My brother -- untreated -- felt all of that pain -- and when he heard his mother was being beaten -- he finally acted in her defense."

She said three other siblings are receiving psychiatric care.

Nakizito Kazigo, a West Point graduate and a captain in the Army Medical Corps, tried to assure Rice that their father also had good qualities; his memorial service was "full of people who loved and respected him."

"I miss him here when I am challenged with treating patients here in Afghanistan. I wish I could tell him of this place and what we are doing here. ... I would want him to be proud of me, for this deployment."