Brooklyn Man’s Bail Remains High; Prosecutors Claim ‘Houdini Act’ Risk

April 2, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) — A Brooklyn man accused of having a woman fatally shoot his wife and wound him sits in jail on murder charges, after a judge refused to lower his bail recently.

A New Jersey state judge has refused defense requests to lower the $3 million bail set for 26-year-old Kashif Parvaiz, accused in the fatal shooting of his wife in a New Jersey suburb last year.

John Bruno Jr., a lawyer who recently began representing Parvaiz, wanted his client’s bail lowered to an amount between $250,000 and $750,000. Bruno said Parvaiz would not attempt to post bail until custody issues involving his two young sons are resolved by a family court in New York City, and would submit to electronic monitoring if he made bail.

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But Morris County prosecutors opposed the motion last month, noting that Parvaiz has a strong incentive to flee the country because he faces a life sentence if convicted. They also cited text messages he allegedly exchanged with a female co-defendant shortly before the killing, in which they spoke of “the great Houdini act of 2011” and “freedom is just around the corner.”

Prosecutors said Parvaiz also told several lies during the initial investigation, including that he graduated from Columbia University and was studying for a degree at Harvard University. Neither school had records of his attendance.

Parvaiz, originally from Brooklyn, and Antoinette Stephen of Billerica, Mass., are accused of murdering Parvaiz’s wife, Pakistani-born Nazish Noorani.

Noorani was fatally shot Aug. 16 while she and Parvaiz pushed their son’s stroller near Noorani’s family home in Boonton. The New Jersey suburb about 30 miles from Manhattan has a large Pakistani-American population.

Parvaiz was also shot, but his wounds were not considered life-threatening. The child was unharmed.

Stephen and Parvaiz, both 26, face charges of murder, conspiracy and weapons offenses. Stephen remains jailed in lieu of $5 million bail, and authorities have said they believe she fired the shots that killed Noorani and wounded Parvaiz.

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