One backhand blow. One death. Seven years in prison.
That’s the punishment for Roger Perry, the drifter who fatally decked Miami Beach’s Mohammed Hussein, a crime that was caught on video and that shocked South Florida.
Perry, 55, pleaded guilty to manslaughter Friday, his head hung low as prosecutor Jonathan Borst read a letter from the slain man’s daughter.
“The pain and the grief will likely linger in our hearts for the rest of our lives,” the victim’s daughter, Hafsa Hussein, wrote to the judge. “There is a stabbing pain that hits us every time we realize any accomplishments or joys in our life will not be shared with him.”
Perry did not address the court, other than to accept the plea deal. He had faced up to 15 years in prison.
Back in December, Perry was standing in line at the M&L Food Market, 7446 Collins Ave., when Hussein approached him to tell him that he was in the wrong checkout lane. They exchanged some heated words and Perry backhanded Hussein, 58.
Hussein, a father of two, fell to the ground and hit his head, causing severe brain trauma. Hussein was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center, where he lingered in a coma for two weeks before dying.
Perry ran from the scene, gathering up his belongings, dying his hair and fleeing to Palm Beach County, where he was eventually captured. He confessed to the crime, police said.
He was initially charged with second-degree murder, a charge that was later downgraded when it became clear that Perry did not intend to kill the man.