With her adult son facing imminent deportation back to Sudan, Kahtoum Idris was in Augusta on Wednesday to hear a lawyer try to get him a new trial on a 2014 drug conviction.

Faysal A. Mohamed, now 32, remains in federal custody in Louisiana and worries about leaving the country that has been his home since 1999, according to his attorney and his family.

“If he is deported, he will be killed,” Idris said, a belief confirmed by Mohamed’s aunt and uncle who accompanied Idris from Portland to Wednesday’s hearing at the Capital Judicial Center.

Mohamed’s attorney, Robert A. Levine, said the argument is “a last-ditch effort” to halt the deportation. He based his argument on several things, including the lack of an interpreter at court proceedings in Kennebec County, ineffective assistance of counsel, and the interests of justice.

Levine told Justice Robert Mullen that Mohamed could be deported “as soon as today,” meaning Wednesday. But later, outside the courthouse, Levine said Idris clarified that it would not be Wednesday, but could be Thursday or Friday.

Deputy District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh argued that the conviction in Kennebec County should stand, and that Mohamed had failed to meet deadlines that would have allowed the conviction to be reviewed “so now they want to create a whole-cloth remedy.”

At the close of the hearing, Mullen said he would read the various cases cited by attorneys and issue a decision prior to July 11.

Mohamed was convicted in June 2015 in Kennebec County of unlawful possession of crack cocaine and falsifying physical evidence, offenses that occurred June 26, 2014, in Waterville. He was sentenced to five years in prison, with all but 364 days suspended, while he serves three years of probation.

Not long afterward, Mohamed pleaded guilty to trafficking in drugs in York County, an offense that predated the Kennebec County ones. Levine told the judge on Wednesday that he is scheduled to argue at a hearing on July 11 in York County to try to get a new trial there as well.

While Mohamed was a legal permanent resident of the United States, he never became a citizen. His mother said she gave him money to pay for the paperwork for that process, but it appeared that he spent it elsewhere.

Idris, and Mohamed’s uncle and aunt, Baballa Adam and Saida Noureldin, are all U.S. citizens now.

“They kill people in Darfur,” Adam said. “It’s very dangerous.”

He added that Mohamed is of the Fur people, the largest ethnic group in Darfur.

Idris holds two housekeeping jobs. “I’m working every day 12 hours a day,” she said. “I need my son to help me.” She also helps care for Mohamed’s 9-year-old son.

She showed a video on her phone in which the boy is in tears and says, “I don’t want my dad to go to Africa. I want him in my life. I really want to be with him. I love you very much and hope to see you soon.”

“This is the face of deportation,” Levine said. “It’s hard not to feel for this family when you see the impact on them.”

In front of the judge, Levine argued that Mohamed should have been provided with an interpreter for all proceedings in the Augusta courthouse and was not. However, an interpreter was provided at every stage in the York County case.

Levin also argued that Mohamed’s lawyer in the Kennebec County case told Mohamed at the time that he would not be deported immediately, but that could change.

“It’s pretty clear to me that that’s not the correct advice,” Levine.

The judge noted that the federal government started deportation proceedings 14 months after the Kennebec County case was completed.

Cavanaugh said Mohamed’s lawyer at the time, Lisa Whittier, gave her client correct advice.

“She was absolutely right,” Cavanaugh said, to tell Mohamed that there are “dire consequences,” but it would not happen immediately.

Cavanaugh also said that if the conviction is overturned, the district attorney’s office would be proceeding on all charges including an unlawful-trafficking charge that had been dismissed in exchange for Mohamed’s plea to the possession charge.

“He could get a worse outcome than he is facing now,” Cavanaugh said.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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Twitter: @betadams