Florida man gets life in jail for murdering wife 26 years ago and burying her in backyard of son's childhood home
Michael Haim, now 52, murdered his then-23-year-old wife Bonnie Haim in 1993 and went unpunished for the next two decades before his son found her remains in 2014
A Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for the 1993 murder of his wife, whose body was found five years later when his son unearthed her remains in the backyard of his childhood home.
According to the Daily Mail, 52-year-old Michael Haim's sentencing last month comes after he was found guilty of second-degree murder in the 1993 slaying of his then 23-year-old wife Bonnie. The testimony of his son, Aaron Fraser, likely proved key in his conviction.
Fraser was just three years old when she disappeared from his childhood Jacksonville home. We reported previously that, even at such a young age, Fraser had testified to detectives that he had seen his father murder his mother.
He reportedly told workers from child welfare services that "Daddy hurt mommy", "Daddy shot mommy", "Daddy placed mommy in a timeout," and "My daddy could not wake her up".
But no one believed him, and a lack of evidence meant they could not charge Haim with the crime. However, that changed in 2014 when Fraser found his mother's badly decomposed remains on the property after ripping out the pool and outdoor shower to renovate the property for sale — the same property he had won from his father as part of a wrongful death lawsuit filed against him.
DNA tests soon confirmed that the remains belonged to Bonnie, with an affidavit filed in connection to the case stating she had died from a homicide "by unspecified means". Haim was subsequently arrested and charged in connection to her death.
His arrest affidavit reflected the testimony of numerous family members who claimed he was abusive to Bonnie and said he had killed his wife because she had made plans to move into another apartment with her son while he was away.
State Attorney's Office Homicide Director Alan Mizrahi worked a similar argument during the opening for Haim's trial, telling the court, "That was the only thing he could do to stop her from leaving and taking his son."
While Haim consistently maintained throughout the proceedings that he was innocent, even taking the stand to insist his wife had left on her own volition without their son in January 1993 after they had an argument about their marital problems, the evidence pointed to just one suspect.
The prosecution highlighted, in particular, a shell casing found where she was buried that was the same type of caliber as a rifle that Haim owned. They highlighted the point by calling forensic anthropologist Dr. Heather Walsh-Haney to the stand, who testified that a circular injury on Bonnie's pelvic bone could have been inflicted by a .22-caliber slug from the rifle.
That, as well as testimonies from numerous others, including that of his son, would swing the verdict in the prosecution's favor. It was a decision that prompted mixed reactions from Fraser, as well as other family members who had been awaiting justice for 26 years.
Speaking after the sentencing, Fraser said, "I honestly don’t feel that different than I did four years ago before I found her. I always believed he killed her and that justice needed to happen, but even today, when the judge said he’s going to have a life sentence, it wasn't this great emotional feeling that I had."
Bonnie's sister, Liz Peak, similarly said, "For 26 years, we wanted justice. And now we have it. We got justice. But we don't have Bonnie."
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