On Friday, July 15, 2022, Judge Cheryl Shannon of the 305th Dallas County District Court will hear the remainder of a case related to certifying the 16-year-old juvenile who allegedly shot and killed Ali Elbanna as an adult.
The family of Mr. Elbanna and community members are expected to gather outside the Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 15, 2022, ahead of the hearing that is expected to start at 11:00 a.m.
The juvenile certification hearing began last Friday, July 8, and that day, the District Attorney’s juvenile prosecution team called their witnesses and presented their side of the case, pushing for the individual to be tried as an adult. On Friday, July 15, 2022, Judge Shannon will hear the case from the defense attorney for the juvenile and will hear from their witnesses. Judge Shannon has complete discretion to decide if the individual will be certified as an adult and is expected to make her decision and announce it on Friday at the conclusion of the hearing.
The main subject of the hearing relates to the murder of Ali Elbanna, which occurred on November 16, 2021, at the Costco Business Center in Dallas on Park Lane. Mr. Elbanna was loading his groceries into his car when four individuals, including the juvenile who is the subject of the juvenile certification hearing, approached him, demanded his belongings, and shot and killed him. The four individuals were arrested, and the three adults were charged with capital murder related to the killing along with multiple counts of aggravated robbery for offenses committed earlier the same day, including one at NorthPark Mall. Some of the articles regarding the incident can be found here: NBC DFW, Fox 4, CBS, Dallas Morning News.
On Friday, July 8, individuals from the Dallas County Juvenile Probation Department and the Dallas Police Department testified on the details of the incidents leading up to Mr. Elbanna’s murder and testified on the character and extensive criminal history of the juvenile.
Dallas Police Department detectives testified that they believe the juvenile was involved in stealing a truck from a home in the Highland Park area on November 15, 2021, that was used to commit the crimes the following day, including the murder of Mr. Elbanna. During the hearing, the detectives showed surveillance video of the juvenile pointing a gun at a woman at NorthPark Mall and demanding her belongings earlier the same day of the murder. They also testified regarding two other juveniles who were held up at gunpoint outside of South Oak Cliff High School by the four alleged murderers prior to the attempted armed robbery at NorthPark Mall.
Lastly, they testified that the juvenile who is up for certification as an adult pointed his gun at Mr. Elbanna in the Costco parking lot, shouted “Give me everything!” and then when Mr. Elbanna said, “No,” the juvenile fatally shot him.
The witness from the Dallas County Juvenile Probation Department testified to the juvenile’s character, mental state, and criminal history. They testified that he is “mentally fit” to stand trial, has little empathy and remorse for the victims of his crimes, and has been in and out of the juvenile justice system for multiple prior offenses that include drug dealing and aggravated robberies that started when he was twelve years old. They also testified that they believe he should be transferred to the adult court where the other three individuals who committed the offenses on November 16, 2021, will be tried for their alleged crimes. They testified that they do not believe the juvenile justice system can adequately serve the individual based on his criminal history in the system and the recent crimes committed.
Judge Cheryl Shannon will hear the defense’s arguments for keeping the juvenile in the Dallas County Juvenile Justice System and will likely make and release her decision on Friday, July 15, 2022, during the hearing that is set to begin at 11:00 a.m.
The family of Mr. Elbanna has circulated a petition calling for community support for “Justice for Ali Elbanna” and have received nearly 2,000 signatures from community members as of the timing of this release.
Additional Background Information about the Case:
Two of the three adult defendants in the case who were with the juvenile to allegedly commit the murder had their bonds on the capital murder charges reduced by half after requesting the reduction. One of the three adult defendants had a no-bill by the grand jury for the capital murder charge.
The presiding judge who reduced the bonds and will be the presiding judge over all three adult defendants and the juvenile should they be certified as an adult is Judge Lela Lawrence Mays of the 283rd District Court.
The juvenile certification hearing that began on July 8, 2022, was previously scheduled for April 26, 2022, and was reset the day prior due to an issue with the court documents. The family of Mr. Elbanna held a demonstration in front of the courthouse that day. Articles related to the demonstration and the family’s pleas for the juvenile to be tried as an adult and justice in Mr. Elbanna’s case can be found here: WFAA, Dallas Morning News, Fox 4, NBC DFW, CBS DFW, Univision, Telemundo, Texas Metro News, Lake Highlands Advocate.
Some of the articles covering the demonstration held on July 8, 2022, and the first part of the juvenile certification hearing that day can be found here: WFAA, NBC DFW, Fox 4, Lake Highlands Advocate, Univision, Dallas Morning News
An opinion piece by Mr. Elbanna’s daughter, Iman Elbanna, related to the case, the family’s pleas for justice, and the problems with the juvenile justice system identified during the hearing on July 8, 2022, was published in the Dallas Morning News and can be found here.
Additional Background Information on Ali Elbanna:
Ali Elbanna, a naturalized American citizen born in Lebanon to Palestinian refugees, was a resident of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for more than 30 years. He was married to Stephanie Young Elbanna, a Fort Worth native, for 33 years, and together they had five children. Mr. Elbanna owned and operated a small wholesale business in Arlington, Texas, and was an active member of the local community, including the local Muslim community. He was 60 years old at the time of his passing.
For additional information about the case or to speak to the family, please call Mary at (682) 559-4062 or email email@example.com.