Husband, woman arrested in wife's murder in NJ

August 22, 2011 4:34:18 PM PDT
The husband of a woman who was gunned down while the couple was walking down a New Jersey street with their 3-year-old son in a stroller has been charged with her murder.

Authorities say Kashif Parvaiz made statements implicating himself in the shooting death of his wife, 27-year-old Nazish Noorani.

Parvaiz and 26-year-old Antoinette Stephen, a woman from Massachusetts with whom Parvaiz allegedly had a relationship, have been arrested.

Charges include first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and weapons offenses.

Parvaiz is also charged with child endangerment and hindering apprehension and prosecution.

Prosecutors say the entire shooting was a setup, and that Parvaiz planned to take his wife on a walk while they were visiting relatives in Boonton Tuesday night.

Stephen would then drive by and shoot her.

The two allegedly met in Brooklyn and planned the entire murder, and police say two guns were found in Parvaiz' car just two blocks away from the crime scene.

Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi wouldn't say who pulled the trigger, but sources indicated that Parvaiz shot his wife before Stephen shot him.

"The husband, Mr. Kashif Parvaiz, has been arrested, actually was arrested a couple of days ago," Bianchi said. "The husband gave an account that there was a white male, three black males, eventually at a certain point in time, in various conflicting accounts, who had yelled out racial epitaphs and called them terrorists. That statement of the victim, the alleged victim at that time, changed considerably."

Bianchi said investigators were deeply concerned when Parvaiz suggested it was a bias crime, but within hours "it was obvious to investigators that this was sadly the alleged handy work of the victim's husband who allegedly did the unthinkable and plotted to murder his wife."

Bianchi said the incident becomes even more disturbing when you consider that the couple was in New Jersey to celebrate Ramadan, a time in the Islamic faith dedicated to patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God.

"The fact that the victim was celebrating Ramadan...made this case especially compelling to us," Bianchi said. "So too, that this matter was allegedly so well thought out, planned, plotted and orchestrated is chilling to say the least."

A funeral service was held Friday for Noorani at an Islamic center in Boonton.

Family members and friends have only recently discovered that the couple, an arranged marriage six years ago, was dealing with marital problems.

Noorani told a relative a month ago that she may be murdered.

Speaking of Parvaiz, Noorani texted the family member, "He abuses me. I don't want to scare the kids. If you should find me dead was Kashi. He wants to kill me."

Noorani's sister, Lubna Choudhry, remembers hearing what she thought were fireworks Tuesday night.

It was on Cedar Street that she found her sister fatally wounded, her brother-in-law injured with four gunshot wounds and her nephew covered in blood.

Now, prosecutors say that brother-in-law was behind the whole ordeal.

Parvaiz may have had a violent history as well. There are reports that he was arrested for assaulting a woman in Boston, where the couple lived, six months ago.

The charges were dropped when the woman didn't show up for court.

Parvaiz is being held on $1 million bond, while Stephen is being held on $5 million bond. Police are also searching for one other suspect.