Judge calls Furqan Syedâ€™s killing of a single mother as not a heat-of-passion crime but an assassination
A Pakistani American man has been sentenced to life plus 38 years for the 2021 killing of Najat Chemlali Goode, a single mother who raised her two children while working full time and going to college.
Denying Furqan Syed’s request for leniency, Chief Judge Douglas L. Fleming Jr. of Loudoun Circuit Court sentenced him to life plus 38 years for first-degree murder, unlawful armed entry, and use of a firearm in commission of a felony on July 13, Loudon Times-Mirror reported.
READ: Mya Patelâ€™s killer sentenced to 100 years in prison (March 28, 2023)
Noting Syed surveilled Goode’s home for three days before entering it and shooting her three times on Dec 30, 2021, Fleming said the killing wasn’t a heat-of-passion crime. Calling Syed’s actions “deliberate” and “purposeful,” Fleming said the killing “can only be described as an assassination.â€
Syed, 42, of Leesburg, Virginia, was convicted on April 14, but maintains his innocence. He is a member of the Messiah Foundation International, also known as the Mehdi Foundation International, which originated in Pakistan. Pakistani government. according to Times-Mirror, calls MFI a cult.
Evidence against Syed included him resembling a man seen on video near Chemlali-Goode’s Conn Marie Terrace home on Dec 27, 28 and 29, 2021, his car closely resembling the car seen on video near her home on those days, and data showing Syed’s phone was in the neighborhood at the same time that the car and man were there.
Additionally, Sheima Abbas, Chemlali-Goode’s daughter, identified Syed as the man who knocked on her mother’s front door on Dec. 27, 2021 and gave his last name as Syed.
Michele Louise Burton, a Loudoun County deputy commonwealth’s attorney, noted Syed purchased a ticket for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates three hours after the county Sheriff’s Office released a composite sketch drawn with the help of Sheima Abbas that closely resembled Syed. He was arrested in March 2022 in Dubai and extradited to the US.
READ: Louisiana man found guilty in death of Mya PatelÂ (January 18, 2023)
The sentencing came after tearful testimony from Abbas, 21, and her 24-year-old brother, Alexander Abbas. They described their 57-year-old mother – an accountant who grew up in Casablanca, Morocco, and came to Virginia in the early 1980s – as generous, kind, hardworking and intelligent.
Abbas, who found his mother shortly after she’d been killed and called 911, said his life has been “absolute hell” since her death. He said he worries about being murdered by MFI members and said he feels “empty and hollow” without his mother who he said was the greatest person he ever met. Abbas said she won’t get to meet his wife if he ever marries or see her grandchildren if he has kids.
“I wanted to repay my mother for all the suffering she went through,” Abbas, who sought the maximum sentence for Syed, was quoted as saying. “I never had the chance and I never will.â€
READ: Utah teenager sentenced in Indian American grocerâ€™s killing (December 1, 2021)
Sheima Abbas said after going through her teenage years, her relationship with her mother become deeper and their bond stronger.
“I expected to share so much of my life with her. Now it’s all been taken away,” said Abbas, who also sought the maximum for Syed. “When I walk through the hallway, I canâ€™t help writhe at the terror, fear, and confusion my mother felt. I can’t bear it.”