A Monmouth County jury has returned guilty verdicts on all charges against a 40-year-old man who fatally shot a 24-year-old woman as she drove along a highway three years ago, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced on Tuesday.
Kader Mustafa, 40, of Heightstown, was convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and two counts of third-degree endangering another person in connection with the killing of Freehold resident Sciasia Calhoun.
“This was a chilling, senseless crime, committed against a total stranger in the dead of night, in front of the victim’s horrified boyfriend and young child. We thank the jury for their service and are deeply gratified to know that while today’s verdict can’t bring Sciasia Calhoun back, this defendant will be kept off the streets and brought to justice for his actions.”Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linksey
The case background …
Shortly before 11:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, 2018, Freehold Township police responded to a 911 call originating from a vehicle stopped along Route 33 West near the exit ramp for Halls Mill Road. At that location, officers found three occupants of the vehicle, a 1997 Mazda Protégé: Calhoun, having sustained a single gunshot wound to the head, her boyfriend and her 1-year-old daughter, neither of whom were physically harmed.
Calhoun was rushed to nearby CentraState Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead about one hour later.
An investigation revealed that Mustafa was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Impala when he fired a single shot at Calhoun, after several minutes of following her vehicle and flashing his high beams. Mustafa was apprehended in Manalapan in the area of Oakland Mills Road at approximately 8:10 a.m. the morning after the shooting, when two handguns were recovered from the vehicle.
Tuesday’s verdict was delivered following a multi-week trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano Jr. Representing the state during the proceedings was Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Investigation Division Director and Assistant Prosecutor John Loughrey.
Sentencing has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. Mustafa is facing a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of life in state prison, with a 30-year period of parole ineligibility.
— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office