A Kentucky courtroom turned emotional when Abdul-Munim Sombat Jitmoud hugged his son's convicted killer in forgiveness and told him to "do good deeds" when he was released from prison.
Trey Alexander Relford was sentenced to 31 years in prison on Nov. 7 for his role in the 2015 murder of Salahuddin Jitmoud, a pizza deliveryman in Lexington, Kentucky.
Salahuddin, who worked for Pizza Hut, was making his last delivery of the night at a local apartment complex when he was robbed and stabbed to death. His body was later found in the breezeway of the complex, according to CNN.
Although four people were arrested for the crime, the court chose to indict only Relford. Although Relford denies killing Salahuddin, officials say he was the one who planned the robbery.
He was convicted after pleading guilty to complicity to murder, complicity to robbery and attempted evidence tampering.
Relford apologized to Salahuddin's family, saying: "There's not much I can really say. I'm sorry about what happened that day. I cannot do nothing to give that back to you."
Abdul-Munim said he forgives him "on behalf of Salahuddin and his mother," who died in 2013. He also hugged Relford to demonstrate his forgiveness, who cried as it happened.
The father said that he forgave his son's killer in the spirit of Islam. Abdul-Munim said that forgiving his son's killer was an "act of charity."
"The door of opportunity for God to forgive him is open ... So, reach out to Him. You have a new chapter of good life coming," he told Relford in court.
"I'm angry at the devil, who's misguiding you and misleading you to do such a horrible crime," he added. "I don't blame you. I'm not angry at you. I forgive you."
Wiping away tears from his eyes, Relford thanked Abdul-Munim for his forgiveness, according to The Lexington Herald-Leader.
"I’m sorry about what happened that day,” said Relford, just before sentencing. "I do applaud you because it takes a powerful man to know that someone has hurt them and to get up there and say what you just said. I can’t imagine the hurt, the pain. There’s nothing I can do ... I thank you for your forgiveness."
Both the prosecutor and the defense attorney said it was extremely unusual for the family member of a victim to extend forgiveness to the killer.
"Out of something that is so tragic, there is really something beautiful here that is beyond really all of us," said public defender Shannon Brooks-English.
Sources: CNN, The Lexington Herald-Leader / Featured Image: Michael D Beckwith/Flickr / Embedded Images: WYKT, Salahuddin Jitmoud/Facebook via Lexington Herald-Leader