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Friend of defendant tells of jailhouse confession

Friend of defendant tells of jailhouse confession

Michael Kiefer
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 18, 2006 12:00 AM

In a jailhouse confession, a Kuwaiti woman charged with hit-and-run in the death of a Mesa man admitted she hit someone and asked her friend and co-defendant to lie on her behalf, the friend testified in court.

Muneerah Al-Tarrah, is being tried in absentia in Maricopa County for leaving the scene of the accident that killed 35-year-old Todd DeGain in September.

On Monday, as the second week of trial began, co-defendant Reem Bishara took the stand as a witness for the prosecution.

Bishara said she first heard from police officers at the scene of her arrest that someone had been killed and said she then confronted Al-Tarrah as they sat in a Mesa police lockup.

"I just wanted to hear it from her," Bishara told The Republic after her court testimony.

She said when Al-Tarrah asked her to help concoct an alibi, she refused.

"It's nothing you can get away with," she claimed she told Al-Tarrah.

Early on Sept. 14, Al-Tarrah, 22, and Bishara, 20, were driving along Alma School Road in Mesa after a night of drinking. Police and prosecutors believe DeGain pulled his motorized skateboard in front of Al-Tarrah's car. The impact threw him through the car's windshield and over the top of the car, killing him instantly.

Bishara was driving behind in her own car and ran over some of the debris from the accident.

Al-Tarrah kept driving, then struck a light pole and took off again until both women stopped in a nearby residential neighborhood, prosecutors say.

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