A man was recently sentenced to a 50-year term of incarceration in Essex County Superior Court after he was convicted of charges for homicide,endangering the welfare of a child, and weapons offenses in October.
On Thursday, January 9th, Superior Court Judge Martin Cronin imposed this sentence on former Bloomfield resident Khalid Khan, who was found guilty of the murder of his estranged wife, 31-year-old Shazmina Khan. According to court documents, Khan stabbed his wife in the neck three times, ultimately causing her death. Shazmina’s dead body was found by her 8-year-old daughter, Samira Khan, and a neighbor, in the bathroom of their home on Wheeler Street in Montclair on July 3, 2011.
During the criminal proceedings in Khan’s case, his daughter Samira testified that he was in the Montclair residence during the approximate period of time in which Shazmina was found dead in the bathtub. This testimony became a critical component of the prosecution’s case against him. Before his daughter testified, Khan sent her multiple pleading letters while he was in confinement. Judge Cronin deemed these letters, “An effort to manipulate that witness and an effort to obstruct justice in the trial of this case.”
According to Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Rachel Gran, Khan killed his wife because he was jealous that she had started dating following their decision to separate. The prosectuion also cited that Khan had a history of violent behavior, evidenced by the three restraining orders that Shazmina attempted to secure against him prior to her death. Unfortunately, each of these was dismissed for unidentified reasons.
Under the New Jersey Criminal Code, Homicide, which is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3, is a crime of the first degree. Although first degree crimes are typically punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from ten to twenty years in New Jersey State Prison, homicide crimes are subject to more severe sentencing guidelines. Those convicted of these offenses are subject to a term of imprisonment of thirty years to life, with a minimum of thirty years that must be served before the person is eligible for parole.
Further, homicide crimes are among the offenses enumerated under the No Early Release Act (NERA), which requires those convicted of such crimes to serve 85 percent of the prison term imposed before becoming eligible for parole. As such, Mr. Khan will be forced to serve at least 42 years and six months in prison, meaning that his period of parole ineligibility will end when he is 94 years old.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Khalid Khan sentenced to 50 years in prison for wife’s 2011 slaying in Montclair