Calif. polygamist gets life term for family crimes

MURRIETA, Calif. (AP) -- A self-proclaimed polygamist was sentenced Friday to seven consecutive life prison terms for torturing some of his 19 children and falsely imprisoning two of his three wives.

Mansa Musa Muhummed, 55, also was sentenced to additional terms totaling 16 years and eight months by Riverside County Superior Court Judge F. Paul Dickerson III.

"If his appeals are exhausted and he does not prevail, he will die in prison," said Peter Morreale, Muhummed's attorney.

Muhummed was convicted last June of seven counts of torture, two counts of false imprisonment and additional charges of child endangerment and spousal abuse.

At his trial, several of Muhummed's children and stepchildren testified against him, telling jurors they had been beaten, starved, strung up by their feet and forced to eat vomit and feces.

Muhummed - whose given name was Richard Boddie - denied the charges and blamed one of his wives for the alleged abuse. He was a convert to the Muslim faith, which he said gave him the right to have multiple wives.

He was arrested in 1999 after one of his wives slipped a 13-page letter to a postal service worker describing the abuse.

Sentencing came nearly a decade after Muhummed's arrest. His trial followed nine years of delays in which he represented himself and changed lawyers multiple times.

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