MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) A former University of South Alabama student convicted of stabbing a man to death in July 2011, has been sentenced to life in prison.
Branden Ajizadeh stabbed 19-year-old James Dean in a dorm room on campus 24 times with a butcher knife.
Before the sentencing, Ajizadeh addressed Dean's family, maintaining his innocence once more and naming another man as the true killer. Then, he shed tears.
"They did not appear to be genuine because he was overdoing it a little bit, crying and all that before it was time for the sentencing," said Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Jo Beth Murphree. "Then immediately he turned it off and took an entirely different tone and demeanor."
Ajizadeh's attorney said a notice of appeal has already been filed.
"He has been unwavering in his insistence that he did not do it and he wishes that the real killer will be found," said defense attorney Jeff Deen.
There were just a few tears from the victim's family members, who say they are satisfied with the sentence. Dean's father remembered his son's openness, and said that's what drew him to Ajizadeh in the first place.
"We never encouraged our children to be prejudicial to anyone," he said. "We taught them to be open to everyone."
Ajizadeh's attorney said the appeal may be handed over to a different lawyer for a fresh set of eyes.