Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
Chaudhry Rashid makes his way into court for the last time Friday to hear the jury's verdict in his murder trial. He was convicted on all counts and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
By Kathy Jefcoats
A Pakistani-born Jonesboro man admitted in court, Friday, that he killed his daughter in 2008, but said he was acting out of passion.
A Clayton County jury took about four hours to convict Chaudhry Rashid, 59, of the July 2008, strangulation death of his only daughter, Sandeela Kanwal, 25.
Judge Albert Collier sentenced Rashid to life in prison, with the possibility of parole.
Rashid addressed the court through an interpreter, Ismail Charania, before Collier sentenced him.
"This happened because I became very angry," Rashid said. "This was done by passion. I don't know what happened at this time, because I was loving my daughter very, very much. Whatever happened, I was out of control."
Rashid showed no emotion during the reading of the verdicts or during sentencing. He was convicted of felony and malice murder, and of aggravated assault. Rashid has 30 days to file an appeal. Defense attorney Alan Begner said Rashid will likely die in prison.
"He faces a difficult time ever getting out of prison with the parole guidelines [being] what they are," said Begner.
Clayton County Assistant District Attorney Katie Powers said the state is satisfied with the outcome. "We are pleased with the jury's verdict and feel like justice has been done," she said.
Powers and prosecutor Jason Green told jurors Rashid killed Kanwal by strangling her with a bungee cord, which he then burned.
Jurors heard that Rashid was outraged that Kanwal disgraced his family by seeking a divorce from an arranged marriage to her cousin. Rashid suspected Kanwal was having sexual affairs, and even that she might be pregnant, a witness testified.
But a longtime friend of hers told the jury, Tuesday, that Kanwal was a virgin when she died.