Ghonim received a life sentence for murder. Photo: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Former Antiguan businessman and husband of a former Miss Dominica, Morrad Ghonim, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering his first wife, Vicki Ghonim.

Ghonim was sentenced in California on Monday, December 19.

During the hearing, Vicki’s sister, Martha Guzman described Ghonim as a coward and a monster.

“Morrad, you’re a coward and a monster,” she said to him. “You deliberately put your son in danger … to make your story more believable.”

Ghonim was charged with the 1992 murder of his first wife in the Los Angeles area.

Reports are that his wife, Vicki Ghonim, who was 17 at that time and the mother of a six-month-old boy, who was in his car seat behind her when a gunman shot her in a parking lot at Creek Park in La Mirada. According to prosecutors, the man who shot her was hired by her husband, who paid to make it looked like a robbery gone awry.

Ghonim and the gunman, Leon Martinez were both arrested in 2010, but the case against Ghonim was dropped because of a lack of evidence at that time. The case subsequently went cold for almost two decades.

But DNA tests on clothing recovered from the scene found a genetic match to Martinez who was serving time for burglary.

In 2012 Martinez confessed that Ghonim was involved in the matter and prosecutors say the Ghonims were having marital problems at the time, and Morrad paid Martinez $500 to stage a robbery and kill Vicki.

By that time Ghonim had moved to Antigua where he operated a beauty store. However, he was deported to the US in 2015, two months after a jury in the US convicted Martinez as being the hit man in the murder.

Ghonim, born in Jordan, tied the knot with Miss Dominica 2012, Nadira Lando, his third wife in 2014.

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