VIDEO: Dallas Family of Murdered Man Gets Day in Court

Family of man who was killed in Costco | Image by Fox 4
Family of man who was killed in Costco | Image by Fox 4

A family who waited for years for justice after two men shot and killed their loved one in front of a North Dallas Costco finally got their day in court.

On November 16, 2021, Ali Elbanna — the father of five children — was shot and killed by two teens who had been on a crime spree. The two suspects — now adults — pleaded guilty to robbing and killing Elbanna this week.

James Levels, now 20, was sentenced to 40 years for murder plus 25 years for aggravated robbery. Camron Range, now 18, was sentenced to 60 years for capital murder plus 30 years for aggravated robbery, per WFAA. The sentences will be served concurrently.

During sentencing, Elbanna’s family was able to face Levels and Range, presenting their victim impact statements at the Frank Crowley Courthouse.

“My father was a Palestinian refugee. He grew up in a country that did not want him,” explained Iman Ali Elbanna, the victim’s daughter. “He worked hard so he could come here to the U.S. and work even harder and provide a life for me, my mother, and my four siblings.”

“He left a legacy of kindness and charity … he survived multiple near-death experiences for things much bigger than you could ever comprehend. He survived all of that only to come to this country for you to shoot him dead in a Costco parking lot,” she continued.

“Today, you stand before a judge, but someday, you will stand before the ultimate judge, God, and you will have to answer for what you’ve done. That is what brings me comfort.”

The family was active on social media, pleading for the public to help them bring attention to the case. Dallas County several times delayed the criminal proceedings.

“We will still need large numbers present so the prosecutors, the defense attorneys, the judge, the media, and the public know that a significant number of people care about seeing justice done and are paying attention to this case,” read one such post from family member Mary Elbanna.

Ali Elbanna’s loved ones were also vocal in their opposition to Dallas County judges allowing one of the alleged suspects involved in the crime spree — Jacoby Tatum — to be released on bail after his bonds for three counts of aggravated robbery were lowered in 2022.

“Jacoby Tatum was involved in the murder of our father and three other armed robbery cases, but he will now be allowed to go to work and church alongside other Dallas residents,” the family wrote in the statement, per WFAA. “We are deeply dismayed and disturbed by this decision.”

Prior to Elbanna’s murder, Range stole a vehicle in Highland Park and, together with Tatum, Levels, and a fourth suspect, they robbed two teens at South Oak Cliff High School and tried to carjack a woman at NorthPark Center.

Range, 16 at the time, was wearing an ankle monitor after being released on probation from a juvenile correctional facility due to overcrowding. He had an extensive criminal record, most recently for burglary. Iman Elbanna has previously condemned Range’s release, which occurred two weeks before her father’s murder, per WFAA.

More recently, as covered in The Dallas Express, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sought new oversight reporting protocols on district attorney’s offices in larger Texas counties. Paxton’s proposal provides a protocol for non-compliance, which can result in the attorney general filing a petition to remove a district attorney.

Many have reproached soft-on-crime policies in Dallas County, such as District Attorney John Creuzot’s short-lived theft amnesty policy in 2022.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article