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Father, 44, is charged with capital murder in deaths of his two autistic son 

A man was charged with capital murder on Wednesday after prosecutors say he drove his family off a Los Angeles pier, killing his two severely autistic sons.

Ali Elmezayen, 44, faces two counts of murder in the deaths of eight-year-old Abdelkarim and Elhassan, 13, and one count of attempted murder for his partner, Rabab Diab, who survived the incident. 

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office also said there’s a special circumstance allegation that the killings were carried out for financial gain.

Elmezayen is in federal custody on insurance fraud charges related to the 2015 pier plunge. 

Prosecutors in that case said he purchased $6million in insurance policies to cover his family in the event of an accidental death.

Ali Elmezayen, 44, was charged with murder on Wednesday for allegedly driving his family off a Los Angeles pier (car pictured as it's pulled from water), killing his two severely autistic sons, Abdelkarim, 8, and Elhassan, 13, in 2015

Ali Elmezayen, 44, was charged with murder on Wednesday for allegedly driving his family off a Los Angeles pier (car pictured as it’s pulled from water), killing his two severely autistic sons, Abdelkarim, 8, and Elhassan, 13, in 2015

Prosecutors said Elmezayen purchased $6million in insurance policies to cover his family in the event of an accidental death. Investigators said he intentionally barreled off the edge of commercial fishing dock in San Pedro with his family inside the vehicle (pictured)

Prosecutors said Elmezayen purchased $6million in insurance policies to cover his family in the event of an accidental death. Investigators said he intentionally barreled off the edge of commercial fishing dock in San Pedro with his family inside the vehicle (pictured)

The murder case will proceed after the insurance fraud trial, which is set to begin on September 3, is completed. 

He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

Investigators said Elmezayen intentionally barreled off the edge of commercial fishing dock in San Pedro with his partner and two children inside the vehicle.

Elmezayen’s car window was open, and he surfaced within 30 seconds and swam to a ladder on the pier. 

His partner, Diab, couldn’t swim, but authorities said she was rescued by a fisherman after surfacing and screaming: ‘My kids, my kids.’ 

‘The poor lady was screaming hysterically,’ said fisherman Ray Prince. ‘I thought she was going to drown.’

Their two boys, Abdelkarim and Elhassan, couldn’t swim and were strapped in child seats. Their lifeless bodies were pulled from the car by rescue divers.

Elmezayen collected more than $260,000 in insurance payouts for the deaths and wired more than $170,000 back to his native Egypt, prosecutors in the fraud case said.

Elmezayen's car window was open, and he surfaced within 30 seconds and swam to safety. His partner, Diab, couldn't swim, but authorities said she was rescued by a fisherman after surfacing. The bodies of their sons were pulled from the car by divers (pictured in 2015)

Elmezayen’s car window was open, and he surfaced within 30 seconds and swam to safety. His partner, Diab, couldn’t swim, but authorities said she was rescued by a fisherman after surfacing. The bodies of their sons were pulled from the car by divers (pictured in 2015)

Elmezayen collected more than $260,000 in insurance payouts for the deaths and wired more than $170,000 back to his native Egypt, prosecutors in the fraud case said. Authorities at the scene of the incident in 2015

Elmezayen collected more than $260,000 in insurance payouts for the deaths and wired more than $170,000 back to his native Egypt, prosecutors in the fraud case said. Authorities at the scene of the incident in 2015 

If convicted in the murder case, Elmezayen faces life in prison without parole, or the death penalty, although prosecutors have not decided on that possibility. Investigators at the scene in 2015

If convicted in the murder case, Elmezayen faces life in prison without parole, or the death penalty, although prosecutors have not decided on that possibility. Investigators at the scene in 2015  

Authorities said Elmezayen has no legal status in the US and is said to have paid $6,000 a year to maintain the accidental death insurance policies he had purchased on his own, his children and his partner’s lives, in 2012 and 2013, despite earning less that $30,000 a year.

Prosecutors allege Elmezayen has access to significant financial resources in his native country. 

The district attorney initially declined to bring charges in the deaths because of insufficient evidence. 

But a police mechanic found evidence that the brake pedal didn’t properly work, but couldn’t tell if that was the case before the tragedy or afterward because of salt water corrosion.

Prosecutors said Wednesday the charges are a result of further investigation.

If convicted in the murder case, Elmezayen faces life in prison without parole, or the death penalty, although prosecutors have not decided on that possibility.

A lawyer for Elmezayen could not be found. He will remain behind bars until his trial date. 

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