Youth sentenced to death for murder of lecturer and father

Youth sentenced to death for murder of lecturer and father
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

SHAH ALAM - A 23-year-old youth was sentenced to death for the murder of a female college lecturer and her father three years ago.

Muhammad Safwan Mohammed, 23, appeared devoid of emotion when High Court judge Datuk Abdul Halim Aman read out the sentence.

The youth was initially charged with three others for the murder of lecturer Zara Eleena Omar Peter and her father Omar Peter Abdullah, 56, in March 9, 2012, but was acquitted during trial.

The other three youths, Mohamad Zul Shahril Suhaimi, 23; Mohamad Sharafe Matt Noh, 22; and Azizi Aizat Ibrahim, 23, were sentenced to death by the same court in October last year.

The court had earlier acquitted Muhammad Safwan of both murder charges but he was ordered to enter his defence after the prosecution appealed against the acquittal.

In delivering the sentence, Abdul Halim said Muhammad Safwan's defence did not raise a reasonable doubt of his involvement in the double murder.

He added that Muhammad Safwan's statement of defence wholly revolved around his denial of being involved.

"I feel the evidence given by the witnesses were more reasonable than the accused's which was primarily his denial," said Abdul Halim.

He said there was also strong circumstantial evidence from other witnesses such as Zara Eleena's mother and pathologist, witnesses for the prosecution.

The accused, three of which were former students of Cybernetics International College of Technology, were charged with killing Zara Eleena, 23, an English lecturer at the college, between 1.30am and 2.30am on March 9, 2012.

They were also accused of killing her father, a retired accountant between 11.30pm on March 8, 2012 and 1.30am, the following day.

Both murders took place at a house in Taman Kinrara, Puchong.

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