Man confesses to murdering Staten Island mom Sarai Sierra in Turkish court: report

sarai sierra
Mourners follow the casket of Staten Island mom Sarai Sierra through Galatasaray, a neighborhood in Istanbul. Zafer Ozbilici, who helped launch the campaign printing flyers to find Sierra, holds a photo of her. Credit: Pearl Gabel/NY Daily News via Getty Images

The man accused of murdering Sarai Sierra earlier this year confessed in Turkish court today to killing the Staten Island mother of two, NY1 reported.

Sierra was found dead in Istanbul in February after she went missing while on vacation.

The defendant, Ziya Tasali, reportedly admitted to killing the 33-year-old New Yorker by hitting her in the head with a rock. He denied allegations that he sexually assaulted her.

Tasali will be placed under court-ordered observation to assess his mental state, as his lawyer insisted he does not understand the meaning and consequences of his actions.

Prosecutors are pushing for a life sentence. The trial is scheduled to resume in November.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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