Strad hijacker gets sent to jail

Strad hijacker gets sent to jail


norman lebrecht

July 25, 2014

Universal K. Allah, 37, one of two men who attacked Frank Almond with a stun-gun and stole his Stradivarius, has received a three-and-a half year jail sentence after pleading guilty to the offence. He will spend an additional three and a half years under supervision. Before sentencing he apologised ‘humbly’ to the Milwaukee concertmaster and to the court. It was his first known offence.

Almond (pictured, with violin and Itzhak Perlman) told the court the attackers had kept him under close observation and knew the names of his children. He had been lucky not to suffer a career-threatening injury when he fell on icy ground after being stun-gunned.

A second defendant, Salah Salahadyn, has yet to be tried. He is supposed to have masterminded the theft, for which Allah supplied the gun.

Here’s an AP report.

frank almond perlman



  • Del Gesu says:

    3 1/2 years??? What a joke of a sentence. He should be sent with a one way ticket to Guantanamo Bay.

  • It does sound light for here in the US. I’m going to guess that confessing was part of a plea deal and that included providing some useful evidence against his accomplice.

    • Frank Almond says:

      He was charged as a party to a felony, which from a legal standpoint is the same as him pulling the trigger. But I’m told it’s uncommon for a first offender with no criminal record to receive prison time, so evidently this is considered a pretty strong sentence, and from watching the judge he seems pretty no-nonsense.
      He’ll have 3.5 years in and 3.5 years of supervision (tracking, drug testing, etc), so it’s really 7 years total.
      Probably not a good sign for his colleague, who is also facing 10 years in prison and 5 years supervision.

  • Frank Almond says:

    Incidentally, Mr. Salahadyn was scheduled to plead guilty as well yesterday, until his attorney quit at the beginning of the hearing, for undefined “ethical” reasons. Thus no plea was entered, and the judge was not amused. A guilty plea is still expected at a date hopefully not too far off.

    • sdReader says:

      Salahadyn attacked you with intent to profit, without sharing, while UKA merely stupidly loaned him his stun gun, no?

      Don’t you feel the sentence on UKA, someone who obviously got off to a disadvantageous start in life, is too harsh?

      • Frank Almond says:

        No, I don’t. In fact, many seem to consider the sentence fairly lenient, but not entirely unexpected.
        Mr. Allah was born Shaundrell Johnson, and legally changed his name much later. He was charged as a party to a felony, which the law states is equal to pulling the trigger. By all accounts, he grew up in a healthy family environment and has been gainfully employed (at his own barber shop) for many years. He’s 37 years old (not some kid) and made the choice to participate in this crime willingly, knew how the taser would be utilized, and why he was enlisted to purchase it for his colleague, a convicted felon with a lengthy criminal and prison record. All of the above were duly emphasized by the presiding judge, and much of this was also noted in my statement to the court. One mitigating factor was that he had no criminal record, although he did admit to small-time drug sales.

  • Doug says:

    “Universal” Allah? As opposed to what “local” Allah?