Perkins patient found guilty in 2010 slaying of fellow patient

The Clifton T. Perkins Hospital patient accused of fatally strangling a fellow patient was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in Howard County Circuit Court Wednesday, according to State's Attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan.

El Soundani El Wahhabi, 52, was convicted of strangling Susan Sachs, 45, to death in her Jessup hospital bed on Sept. 26, 2010.

The verdict came after 60 minutes of deliberation and a trial that lasted two days. 

In March 2012, a mistrial was declared in the same case after a deadlocked jury could not return a verdict after 11 hours of deliberation, Kirwan said. 

According to Kirwan, the prosecution described El Wahhabi's actions as "deliberate, willful and premeditated," while the defense attorney said that Sachs and El Wahhabi were best of friends and that her death resulted in a botched murder-suicide pact.  

El Wahabbi is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28, 2013.

Clifton T. Perkins is a state maximum security psychiatric hospital located in Jessup.

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