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Anjail Durriyyah MUHAMMAD





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Sets woman on fire during an argument at a gas station
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: May 25, 2003
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1981
Victim profile: Nodiana Antoine, 18
Method of murder: Dousing with gasoline and setting her on fire
Location: Cobb County, Georgia, USA
Status: Sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole on May 6, 2008

Woman Sentenced For Setting Friend On Fire

May 6, 2008

COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Anjail Muhammad hung her head as her mother sobbed behind her after the judge told the 27-year-old woman she'd spend the rest of her life in prison.

The sentence came for the horrific death of 18-year-old Nodiana Antoine. The two had been arguing in a car at a Cobb County gas station when Muhammad doused her with gasoline and set her on fire.

There was little doubt of her guilt. Prosecutors showed a video of police investigating the discovery of the badly-burned woman when Muhammad drove right by them. By the time police caught up with her, the car was about to burn up. Muhammad escaped with her life and had been awaiting her day in court for nearly five years.

So has Antoine's mother who asked the district attorney not to seek the death penalty and was happy with the outcome.

“I'm blessed. I'm blessed it's over I can go home and really put my daughter down to rest and just get over this,” said Antoine's mother Tracye Currie.

Antoine suffered burns over 70 percent of her body and died days after being found. Judge Steven Shuster cited the torturous death as one of the reasons he chose to sentencer her to life without parole.

Muhammad left for prison with an apology to her mother. “I’m sorry Momma. I’m so sorry,” she said.

Assistant District Attorney Reuben Green told Channel 2 after hearing an 'I love you' exchange between Muhammad and her mother, “... At least she had the opportunity to say something to her daughter versus the victim's mother didn't have that opportunity. So, it did tug at my heart but nevertheless I think this was justice."


Death penalty sought against local woman

Marietta Daily Journal

May 21, 2004

MARIETTA, Ga. - The Cobb County District Attorney's Office will seek the death penalty for an Alabama woman charged in the burning death of another woman.

Anjail Muhammad, 23, of Gadsden, is charged with murder in the May 25, 2003, death of Nodiana Antoine, 18.

Antoine died two months after being set on fire outside a gas station.

Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head said he is seeking the death penalty because of the cruel nature of the crime and because of the danger setting someone on fire in a gas station parking lot posed to others. Muhammad sprayed about 63 cents worth of gasoline onto Antoine before returning to the car to get a lighter, he said.

Antoine spent two months in the burn unit at Grady Memorial Hospital before dying last July.

Police said an argument between the two women, who had been living together in a white Pontiac Grand Prix, led to the incident.

But they would not elaborate on the nature of the argument or the relationship between Muhammad and Antoine.

Currently, only one female inmate is on death row in Georgia. Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 36, was convicted in Gwinnett County in November 1998 for conspiring with her boyfriend in the stabbing death of her husband, Doug Gissendaner.

The state has record of only one woman being executed in Georgia, said Scheree Lipscomb, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections.

In 1945, 44-year-old Lena Baker, a mother of three, was executed in the electric chair after being convicted of murdering Ernest Knight in southwest Georgia. Controversy over that case has persisted for years because Baker, a black housekeeper, claimed Knight, a white man, was abusing her and locking her in a gristmill after she tried to end a sexual relationship between them.


Woman Set Ablaze During Argument At Gas Station

May 27, 2003

MARIETTA - Georgia. A woman has been charged with aggravated battery for allegedly dousing another woman with a half-gallon of gasoline and setting her on fire during an argument at a gas station.

Anjail Durriyyah Muhammad of Gadsden, Ala., was charged with aggravated battery, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. She was being held Monday in the Cobb County jail.

Authorities identified the victim as Nodiana Antoine, who was hospitalized in critical condition Monday with burns over more than 64 percent of her body.

The arrest warrant said Muhammad maliciously caused bodily harm by seriously disfiguring Antoine's feet, arms and torso by pouring gasoline on her and lighting her on fire Sunday morning.


Supreme Court of Georgia

No. S09A1852.


February 01, 2010

Robert H. Alexander III, Marietta, for appellant. Patrick H. Head, Dist. Atty., Dana J. Norman, Asst. Dist. Atty., Marietta, Thurbert E. Baker, Atty. Gen., Sheila E. Gallow, Asst. Atty. Gen., Atlanta, for appellee.

Following a bench trial, Anjail Durriyyah Muhammad was found guilty of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and arson in the first degree in connection with the death of Nodiana Antoine.1  Muhammad appeals, contending only that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to sustain her convictions.   Finding no error, we affirm.

Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence shows that, on May 25, 2003, Muhammad and Antoine were physically fighting at a Chevron gas station in Cobb County, Georgia.   Pamela Robinson saw the two women fighting and went inside the gas station to tell the attendant to call the police.   Muhammad, who was dragging Antoine around by her shirt collar, removed one of the nozzles from a gas pump and sprayed Antoine with gasoline.   After doing so, Muhammad approached Robinson and calmly asked her if she had a lighter.   Robinson said she did not, and Muhammad then dragged Antoine to Muhammad's car, which was parked across the street.

Muhammad retrieved a lighter from her car and clicked it five to ten times before Antoine burst into flames and ran into the street.   Bystanders yelled at Antoine to get on the ground and roll to extinguish the flames, and tried to help her put out the flames.   Shortly after the flames surrounding Antoine were put out, William Bell, an engineer with the Cobb County Fire Department, arrived on the scene.   At that time, Antoine was screaming that “[Muhammad] threw gasoline on me and set me on fire.”   Another fire engineer, Sergeant Jeff Burris, also arrived on the scene, and Antoine told him that Muhammad had burned her.   While en route to the hospital, Antoine also told a paramedic treating her that Muhammad had “sprayed gas on her and lit her on fire.”   Antoine remained in the hospital for approximately a month and a half before she died due to her burns.

The evidence was sufficient to enable a rational trier of fact to find Muhammad guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of all the offenses for which she was convicted.  Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979).   Indeed, the facts and circumstances of this case are such that a reasonable factfinder could have found that Muhammad intentionally and maliciously killed Antoine, as opposed to only having done so unintentionally or as a result of sudden, irresistible passion as Muhammad contends.  Blair v. State, 245 Ga. 611, 614(3), 266 S.E.2d 214 (1980) (“It is for the jury to determine whether any killing is intentional and malicious from all the facts and circumstances”) (citation omitted).

Judgment affirmed.


1.  On May 21, 2004, Muhammad was indicted for malice murder, two counts of felony murder (with aggravated assault and aggravated battery as the underlying offenses), aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and arson in the first degree.   Following an April 8-May 1, 2008 bench trial, Muhammad was found guilty on all counts.   On May 6, 2008, Muhammad was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the malice murder and thirteen years concurrent for arson in the first degree.   The trial court merged the aggravated assault and aggravated battery counts into the malice murder count for sentencing purposes, and the felony murder convictions were vacated by operation of law.  Malcolm v. State, 263 Ga. 369(4), 434 S.E.2d 479 (1993).   Muhammad filed a motion for new trial on May 7, 2008, which she amended on May 20, 2008.   On March 6, 2009, the motion was denied.   Muhammad's timely appeal was docketed in this Court on July 24, 2009, and submitted for decision on the briefs.

MELTON, Justice.

All the Justices concur.


Anjail Muhammad


Anjail Muhammad
(Georgia Department of Corrections)



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