Paradise lies under the feet of the mother. This spoiled rotten boy didn't think so.
Son accused of hiring classmate to kill mom
By BRIAN ROGERS
Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:10PM
The teen accused of hiring a friend to kill his mother, and the friend accused of killing the mother appeared in court. Video by Jason Witmer. Jan. 7, 2010.Police charge son in moms death, , Danish Minhas, son of a woman found dead in her southwest Houston home last month has been accused of hiring a classmate to kill her because she was too strict. Video James Nielsen. Dec. 6, 2010.
From the beginning, Houston police say, they doubted 17-year-old Danish Moazzam Minhas' story about finding his mother's bloody body in their apartment.
The Lee High School student told investigators he'd spent the entire night out and came upon the crime scene when he returned home that morning in late November. The attacker, Minhas told detectives, must have surprised 43-year-old Tabassum Khan while she was counting money she planned to spend on bills and the traditional Muslim feast of Eid.
Evidence inside the apartment convinced police that Khan hadn't gone down without a fight. Stabbed dozens of times, she still managed to put up enough resistance to wreck her home.
Six weeks later, authorities announced Wednesday that a fingerprint discovered at the scene led them to one of Minhas' classmates, who told police Minhas promised him $4,000 to kill his mother.
He is now charged with solicitation of capital murder, authorities said, and has confessed to arranging the killing because he felt his mother was too strict. Prosecutors have charged Nur J. Mohamed with capital murder in the Nov. 24 stabbing.
“They knew we had them,” Houston Police Sgt. Brian Harris said. “They knew they left too much evidence at the scene.”
The break in the case came weeks after the killing when a Houston ISD police officer caught Mohamed, an 18-year-old native of Somalia, with drugs on the Lee campus, Harris said. His fingerprints matched those left at the crime scene, Harris said.
Mohamed said Minhas promised him $4,000. He got only $1,000 from the apartment, Harris said.
Menhas and Mohamed were seen leaving school together on the day of the killing and Minhas acted as a lookout while Mohamad went into the apartment, Harris said.
Khan “was a fighter. She fought for her life. She fought and fought and fought,” Harris said of the slain woman. “That's why the scene was as gruesome as it was.”
Minhas' cousin said the family was devastated by Khan's death and by the accusations that Minhas had hired her killer.
“We did not expect any of this,” said Atif Iqbal. “He was my brother. He was our son. He was everything. We put all of our efforts into nurturing him and his education. Never in my wildest dreams did we ever think about him like this. He's 17 years old, for crying out loud.”
Said mom was too strict
Iqbal said Khan and Minhas came from Lahore, Pakistan, about 10 years ago. Minhas' father is not in contact with anyone in the family, his cousin said.
Minhas and Mohamad displayed no emotion about the crime and tried to charm investigators, Harris said.
“He's very manipulative, very cunning,” the detective said of Minhas, “and he was trying to put his spin on it.”
Dealing with Khan's son, Harris said, was a “cat-and-mouse game” until he was confronted with Mohamad's statement,
Then Minhas told police he “loved his mother to death” but she was too strict, Harris said. “I don't think he realized how that sounded. … She gave him a curfew, chores and other things a responsible parent does.”
Investigators also reviewed the teens' social networking Web pages on Facebook and MySpace.
“There's a whole narrative where he writes that he likes to be in charge and in control,” Harris said.
Saw himself as ‘a hero'
A week before his mother was killed, Minhas posted as his MySpace status, “It's all good ... waiting for things to happen.”
He wrote that he considers a hero to be “Anyone that can save the day, or come clean out of an embarrasing (sic) situation, then Hey, that person is a hero. . Wait that's me!”
Iqbal said his aunt wasn't too strict.
“She's a mom. He's a teenager, and he was getting in to the wrong things,” Iqbal said.
He also said Khan provided her son with new clothes, cell phones and a new car while she drove an older model.
“We fed him with a spoon made out of gold,” Iqbal said. “She worked 14 hours a day to support him.”
Chronicle reporters Mike Glenn, Dale Lezon and Ericka Mellon contributed to this story.