By Justine Lofton

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, MI – A Dearborn Heights man is charged with first-degree murder in the strangulation death of his mother, which occurred while he was on probation related to a previous domestic violence incident with the same victim, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office announced.

Ibtisam Field, 73, of Dearborn Heights, died at her home on Tuesday, May 4, allegedly at the hands of her son, 45-year-old Aaron Samir Akel, the news release said. This is not the first time Akel has been accused of assaulting his mother.

Dearborn Heights Police officers were dispatched to a residence on Pardee Avenue around 4:40 a.m. on Tuesday, the release said. Field’s body was found in a bedroom of the home. Medics at the scene determined she had died of strangulation. Akel was arrested at the scene.

At the time of the alleged murder, Akel was on probation for previously assaulting his mother, the release said. A judge had ordered him not to have contact with the victim. Terms of his probation also required treatment for mental health and drug abuse, but the defendant had not complied.

On Nov. 2, Akel was arrested and charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm and misdemeanor domestic violence against his mother.

On March 16, he pleaded guilty to assault with intent to do great bodily harm. At the plea hearing, Akel’s defense attorney moved for his release pending sentencing. The prosecutor opposed the motion and the judge agreed to hold the defendant in jail.
Akel was sentenced on April 7 to three years of probation and 157 days in jail, which he had already served. Sentencing guidelines called for up to 11 months in jail, but his mother advocated for him at the sentencing hearing.

Fields requested that her son be released from jail. She asked to have contact with him and wanted him to receive drug and mental health treatment. The judge ordered no contact between the defendant and the victim and ordered Akel to receive treatment at a facility to be arranged by a probation officer.

Akel was directed to contact the probation officer but did not. The officer eventually tracked him down and referred him to a treatment facility but Akel failed to report. The officer attempted to contact Akel without success and began the process of filing an amended court order.

Despite the no-contact order, Field allowed Akel to live in her home, which is where he allegedly killed her.

“This is what we all fear in domestic violence cases,” Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. “The defendant served his jail time and we worked with Mrs. Field with great care to craft a sentence that she supported to enable her son to get the help he needed. Very unfortunately, he refused to take advantage of the offered help.”

Akel was arraigned today in the 20th District Court in Dearborn Heights. His probable cause conference is on May 19. The preliminary examination is on May 26.

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