A 27-year-old man who chased down his pregnant girlfriend and stabbed her to death because she had jilted him faces life in prison without the possibility of parole Friday.
Ahmad Rashad Siddiqi was convicted Sept. 23 of first-degree murder, with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait. Jurors also found true a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.
An attempted murder charge related to the victim’s unborn baby was dismissed Sept. 17. Prosecutors said the woman was several weeks into her pregnancy — not enough for her to be legally regarded as having been carrying a fetus.
Siddiqi, a resident of Alexandria, Virginia, at the time, killed 24-year- old Soraya Faroqi outside her apartment complex in the 15100 block of Brookhurst Street in Westminster on the evening of Dec. 19, 2011, Senior Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke said.
“It is a simple case of, ‘If I can’t have you, then no one can,”‘ Burke said in his opening statement.
Siddiqi and Faroqi, who both have Afghani roots, met in October 2010 while applying in Baltimore to be a translator for the military in Afghanistan. Neither one got the job, but they “hit it off,” Burke said.
The two carried on a mostly long-distance relationship as Siddiqi stayed with his family in Virginia and Faroqi returned to Westminster, the prosecutor said.
In May 2011, the victim got a job as a translator in Afghanistan, Burke said. The two got engaged that September, but a month later, the victim began an affair with a U.S. Army private and eventually got pregnant, Burke said.
Faroqi concealed the affair from her fiancee, and though the two called off wedding plans, they decided to remain in a romantic relationship, Burke said. All the while, the victim pushed the defendant to “get it together” and find a job, the prosecutor said.
As the relationship continued to deteriorate, Siddiqi’s friends advised him to move on, but he instead bought a wedding ring just days before Faroqi returned home from Afghanistan in December 2011, Burke said.
A friend and neighbor of the victim arranged to have the estranged couple get together to talk on Dec. 19, 2011. When Faroqi broke the news of her affair and pregnancy, the defendant insisted he still wanted to work through it and stay together, Burke said.
When the defendant tried to show her the wedding ring, a knife that he had taken from a butcher block in the neighbor’s kitchen fell out of his jacket pocket, Burke said.
The neighbor picked up the knife and tried to keep Siddiqi from going back into the kitchen. But Siddiqi flung the woman aside and grabbed a bigger knife with an eight-inch blade and chased Faroqi out of the apartment toward a planter near a carport at the complex, where he stabbed her about 18 times, Burke said.
The commotion drew the attention of neighbors, who called police. The defendant ceased the attack when a man pointed a flashlight at him and told him to stop, Burke said.
While at a hospital to be treated for a cut on his hand, Siddiqi was heard saying, “I can’t say I’m sorry because does it look like I’m sorry? No, not at all. I did what I had to do, what I thought was right.”
Defense attorney Lisa Eyanson said her client was born in Afghanistan and immigrated to the United States when he was 12. After high school, Siddiqi enrolled in the Marine Corps, serving as an interpreter, Eyanson said.
The night before the killing, Siddiqi and Faroqi went to a local Walgreen’s drug store, where the victim bought a home pregnancy test, Eyanson said. When the defendant asked what it was for, Faroqi said it was for a friend, the attorney said.
When they met up again the next day, after the victim went to a doctor to confirm the pregnancy, the defendant was thinking that “they’re still together, trying to work it out,” Eyanson said. But at some point, her client “just snaps,” she said, arguing that her client killed in the “heat of passion,” making it a manslaughter, not a murder.
—City News Service