Downers Grove man accused of killing mother to stand trial

  • Michael Zaky Bassaly

    Michael Zaky Bassaly

  • Michael Zaky Bassaly, 30, of Downers Grove, was arraigned on Sept. 13, 2013. He is charged with killing his mother in the parking lot of a Burr Ridge church.

    Michael Zaky Bassaly, 30, of Downers Grove, was arraigned on Sept. 13, 2013. He is charged with killing his mother in the parking lot of a Burr Ridge church. Pool / Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune

 
 
Updated 2/21/2017 7:28 PM

The jury trial for a Downers Grove man accused of murdering his mother in a church parking lot will begin Wednesday morning.

Michael Zaky Bassaly, 30, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the Aug. 29, 2013, slaying. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

 

Authorities say Homeland Security agents had started looking into Bassaly, an Egyptian immigrant, just two days before the murder in an investigation into fraud related to government asylum applications.

He's accused of shooting and killing his mother, 61-year-old Yvonne Baky Bassaly, around 1 a.m. in the parking lot of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Burr Ridge. Police found her in the back seat of a parked 2005 Cadillac after Bassaly called 911. She was pronounced dead within the hour.

On the dashboard of her car, detectives found a sealed envelope with letters addressed to the FBI in which Michael Bassaly said he killed his mother "to protect her from the result of the investigation" and planned to take his own life.

He later directed investigators to his home. There, police found copy machines, passports, checks, business cards and letterheads falsely identifying him as a lawyer, authorities said.

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Prosecutors said Bassaly's mother had been visiting from Florida and may have believed her son was a recent graduate of Loyola University.

In a police interview, Bassaly said he planned to commit suicide because of the investigation and his mother wanted to die with him.

Prosecutors said he told detectives they drove to the church parking lot to pray. At another point, he claimed the gun "went off," they said.

Bassaly's attorney, Marc Wolfe, has said he believes the victim killed herself while her son tried to stop her.

Bassaly has been held without bail since he was charged the day of his mother's death.

Prosecutors and Wolfe said Tuesday that they expect the trial to last through the week.

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