Spouse of Murdered Woman Had Stalked Her (Updated)

UPDATE: Katherine Carter, public information officer of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, told Baristanet that Khalid Khan will be arraigned at 9:00am on Wednesday before Judge Peter Vasquez for the death of his wife Shazmina Khan.

Carter said there had been no restraining order against Khalid Khan, and no active request for such an order. Shazmina and Khalid Khan’s daughter is in the care of the Division of Youth and Family Services.  The Office is still waiting for autopsy results to give the cause of Shazmina Khan’s death, Carter said.

On Monday morning, as others celebrated the anniversary of the independence of their nation, a young mother’s life was violently snuffed out, along with her liberty and pursuit of, if not happiness, the safety of her 8-year-old daughter and herself.

Shazina Khan’s body was found in her apartment in Montclair early on Monday, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Later that night, the deceased woman’s estranged husband Khalid Khan, 41 (see photo below, just released by ECPO today), of Bloomfield, was arrested, the prosecutor’s office said, adding there was a history of domestic complaints.

The tidy and modest street where Shazmina Khan, 31, used to live was serene and quiet on Tuesday morning. One neighbor declined to speak to Baristanet, another was friendly but decided her baby needed feeding once this reporter was identified, but a third stayed to talk about her friend, Khan.

“I knew her from the laundromat, where she worked,” said the neighbor, who identified herself to Baristanet but declined to have her name published.

“She was separated from her husband, but not yet divorced. I overheard them arguing once, and she had to change her name and homes many times because he was stalking her.”

A few weeks ago, a heated argument between the couple had resulted in police visiting the apartment, the neighbor said., adding she believed there was a restraining order against the husband because of the repeated episodes of stalking Ms Khan.

The neighbor said that Shazina Khan didn’t work at Jefferson’s Cafe, contrary to what had been reported in the media, but at the laundromat next door to it.

The laundromat was closed on Tuesday morning, as was Jefferson’s Cafe next door, to the chagrin of two regular patrons.

“Why don’t they let us know they’re going to be closed?” one asked.

Khan was of Kenyan and Pakistani descent, the neighbor said, and originally hailed from the U.K., although her now-American accent suggested she had been in the U.S. a while.

“In fact, she was supposed to return to London next week,” the neighbor said, her eyes misting.

A vigil was held at Wheeler Street on Monday night, in memory of Ms Khan.

The circumstances of Khan’s death bear resemblances to those of the late Monica Paul, who was also 31 when she was shot to death three years ago at the YMCA on Glenridge Ave by her estranged boyfriend, in front of her then-11-year-old daughter and as she watched her son take a swimming lesson. Paul had had a restraining order taken against the killer, Kenneth A. Duckett, a year before she was mortally wounded, but he had retained visitation rights to the children.

Click here for a collection of resources for victims of domestic violence in New Jersey. And here for a petition for Monica’s Law, which establishes a visitation risk-assessment pilot program for domestic violence cases.

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  1. Another tragedy. How sad for everyone. Maybe schools should educate about domestic violence. Maybe they are already, I don’t know. Rejection is hard, but violence is not its remedy.

  2. I recognize the murder was on the Fourth of July. Nonetheless, the lead of this report is terribly insensitive. “Along with her liberty and pursuit of, if not happiness…” Come on! The only thing missing is a call for justice for all.

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