The husband of a woman who was gunned down as the couple walked with their son along a New Jersey street after a Ramadan dinner has been arrested for plotting her murder with another woman, authorities said Friday.
Prosecutors say Kashif Pervaiz, who was also shot in the Tuesday night ambush, is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child.
Nazish Noorani, 27, was killed. Pervaiz is accused of plotting her murder along with a female acquaintance, identified as Antoinette Stephen, 26, of Boston. She faces charges of murder and conspiracy.
Court papers said Noorani had recently sent text messages to her brother, saying she couldn't talk to her husband because he abuses her.
"i m scared ... some day u will find me dead but its cuz of Kashi ... he wants to kill me," she wrote.
The married couple's 3-year-old son was not hurt in the attack. They also have a 5-year-old, who was not with them when they were shot.
Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi said Pervaiz was arrested after giving numerous conflicting statements about what happened, first saying that they were attacked by several gunmen who called them "terrorists."
He also told authorities during questioning that he needed to control his anger and that he didn't want to be the person who told his children that he took their mother away, according to his arrest affidavit. He also admitted having extramarital affairs.
"Within hours of the crime, it was obvious to investigators that this was sadly the alleged handy work of the victim's husband who allegedly did the unthinkable and plotted to murder his wife, after a religious celebration," Bianchi said.
Bianchi could not characterize how Pervaiz and the Boston woman know each other, but said they did have some sort of relationship. Court documents describe how the two suspects discussed the "turbulent relationship" between Pervaiz and his wife.
Noorani's funeral was held Friday. Lawyer information for Pervaiz was not immediately available.
Two handguns, a 9 mm Ruger and a Sig Sauer, were found in his SUV, according to court papers.
Prosecutors said Pervaiz was arrested shortly after the killing, but the information was not publicly released because investigators were pursuing his alleged co-conspirator, who was arrested in Massachusetts on Thursday night.
On Aug. 12, four days before the shooting, the woman texted Pervaiz, writing "you hang in there. freedom is just around ur corner," according to arrest affidavits.
He texted her "ill be depositing money tomorrow morning and ill see you tomorrow night."
On the day of the killing, about nine hours before the shooting, she texted him: "call me when you can. delete all msgs from phone. i wont message from here on."
Pervaiz was shot four times. Noorani's relatives said before the charges were announced that they hoped he didn't have anything to do with the shooting.
"I'm hoping he's not involved," said Kaleem Noorani, the victim's brother. "I'm hoping it's nothing like that."
According to her family, Pervaiz sent his wife a text message just before 11 p.m. telling her they should leave the sister's home and walk to her father's home a couple blocks away.