A Canadian neurosurgeon who killed his wife days after she filed for divorce was given life in prison Thursday, but has the opportunity for parole after 14 years.
CBC reports that 43-year-old Mohammed Shamji, who has been behind bars on murder charges since his arrest in December 2016, took a last minute plea deal last month in connection with the death of his wife. The plea deal spared his daughter from testifying against him.
On December 1, 2016, authorities found the body of 40-year-old Elana Fric Shamji stuffed inside a suitcase, placed near an underpass in Vaughan, Ontario. The following day, her husband, Mohammed Shamji, was arrested.
Court documents indicate that Shamji snapped after his wife filed for divorce just a few days prior to her death. In a fit of rage, he choked her to death and broke her ribs and neck.
Authorities said that Elana, a physician, died from blunt force trauma and strangulation. The divorce was sparked after years of emotional and physical abuse by Shamji, as well a lengthy affair he carried out behind her back.
“Elana endured 12 years of domestic violence,” Elana’s mom, Ana Fric said, according to the Toronto Sun. “I also now know he had choked her during an argument until she was unconscious.”
The couple’s three children were sleeping nearby while their mom was being killed in her bedroom of the family’s Toronto home. The oldest child, an 11-year-old girl, woke up when she heard her mother screaming. The little girl opened the door to her parents’ bedroom, but Shamji ordered her to shut the door and leave.
The young girl would have been called to testify and relive the traumatic scene had the case went to trial. Justice John McMahon acknowledged that Shamji’s plea deal saved his daughter from additional turmoil.
“I don’t know think there could be a worse scenario for a young person than to testify where her father has killed her mother.”
Shamji was charged with second-degree murder since the act was done in a heat of passion. McMahon, however, added that regardless of how the incident happened, Shamri proved that he was capable of extreme violence.
“I recognize there is no evidence of planning. A heated argument led to the killing,” McMahon said. “The nature of the violence is extreme.”
The children are now in the custody of Elana’s parents. Shamji was ordered to have no contact with them.
“Look at them,” Ana Fric shouted at Shamji during court while pressing him to take a look at his children.
“You son of a b****.”