Video: Husband, alleged mistress charged with murder

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    >> bill. it reads like the plot to an episode of "law & order" but authorities say it was all too real. a man involved in a love triangle is now under arrest accused of having his wife killed. and you won't believe who cops say pulled the trigger. nbc's ron allen reports.

    >> reporter: the picture of kashif parvaiz and his wife nazish noorani was taken at a gathering for the muslim celebration of ramadan. that same night the mother of two was found dead, gunned down just down the street, where the couple was walking with their 3-year-old son in a stroller. the father pervez also wounded survived and told police the attackers had called them terrorists, because of their faith. the family was horrified.

    >> automatic rifles, and three people coming out? that's the first time i ever heard it and it's just crazy that it's actually one of my family members.

    >> reporter: it all became even more extraordinary as relatives held funeral services for noorani. police had arrested her husband, parvaiz, charged him with killing his wife and conspiring with his woman, antoinette stephens, believed to be the shooter. authorities say parvaiz had admitted playing a role in his wife's murder and that issues in their marriage recently had escalated.

    >> within hours of the crime, it was obvious to investigators that this was sadly, the alleged handiwork of the victim's husband who allegedly did the unthinkable, plotting the murder of his wife, after a religious celebration.

    >> reporter: noorani apparently knew she was in danger. in court documents, prosecutors say a recent text message to her brother said, some day you will find me dead but it's because of kashif, he wants to kill me. police say obvious discrepancies in the story of the supposed terror attack led them right to parvaiz. prosecutors say parvaiz's alleged accomplice stephens says in a text message , you hang in there. freedom is just around your corner. then the day before the killing, he texted, i'll be depositing money tomorrow morning , and i'll see you tomorrow evening night.

    >> it did come as a shock to us that, you know, it turned out to be the husband. but, we're going to let the prosecution run its course.

    >> he's not a man.

    >> reporter: noorani's relatives say they warned her not to marry par vad, calling him shady, an abusive philanderer. police say they were especially saddened that a mother had been murdered in front of her child. and that alleged killer had tried to hide behind the emotional issue of hate crimes. while a family mourns an unspeakable loss. for "today," ron allen , nbc news, new york.

Image: Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi holds police booking photos of Kashif Parvaiz and Antoinette Stephen
Julio Cortez  /  AP
Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi holds the police booking photos of Kashif Parvaiz, left, and Antoinette Stephen, who were charged in the murder of Parvaiz's wife,  Nasish Noorani, during a news conference Friday.
By
updated 8/19/2011 9:26:48 PM ET 2011-08-20T01:26:48

A Pakistani-American man whose Pakistan-born wife was gunned down while they and their son walked along a quiet suburban street plotted the killing with another woman and told police his family had been attacked by a group of men who called them terrorists, authorities said Friday.

Kashif Parvaiz, 26, suffered non-life-threatening wounds in the shooting that killed his 27-year-old wife, Nazish Noorani. They were walking with their 3-year-old son, who was in a stroller, to a relative's house in Boonton when shots rang out Tuesday night. The boy was unharmed. The couple's 5-year-old son was with Noorani's family inside the house.

Parvaiz and 26-year-old Antionette Stephen of Massachusetts both face charges of murder, conspiracy and weapons offenses. He also faces child-endangerment charges.

Stephen and Parvaiz exchanged text messages in the days leading up to the shooting, according to an arrest affidavit released by the Morris County Prosecutor's Office.

"You hang in there. Freedom is just around ur corner," read one text sent from a phone listed to Stephen's father to Parvaiz, according to the affidavit.

Subsequent texts from Stephen's number describe driving around the neighborhood to see how far away the nearest police station was, according to the affidavit. The exchange of texts continued up until 2 p.m. on the day of the shooting, authorities said.

Parvaiz, who has been in the hospital, was arrested several days ago, authorities said. He was being held on $1 million bail. Authorities said they did not know whether he had a lawyer.

Stephen was arrested Thursday night in Massachusetts. She was arraigned Friday on a fugitive-from-justice charge and was being held without bail at a women's prison in Massachusetts. It's not clear when she might be returned to New Jersey. Meghan Spring, the attorney who represented her at her arraignment, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Parvaiz, his wife and their son were walking from Noorani's sister's house to her father's house a few blocks away when the shooting occurred.

According to Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi, Parvaiz's accounts of the attack were inconsistent and immediately raised suspicions.

Parvaiz told investigators the couple was attacked by a combination of black and white males who shouted ethnic slurs, authorities said. In his initial story, the group shouted something about the family being "terrorists," authorities said.

Bianchi said investigators were deeply concerned when Parvaiz suggested it was a bias crime, but within hours "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."

Bianchi didn't say whether Stephen and Parvaiz were romantically involved, but investigators wrote in the arrest affidavit that Parvaiz and Noorani had a turbulent relationship. Authorities said Parvaiz met Stephen in Brooklyn, New York City, and the two discussed murdering Noorani.

Bianchi wouldn't say who pulled the trigger or whether the same person shot both Parvaiz and Noorani.

Noorani was buried Friday after services at an Islamic center in Boonton, a small town west of New York with a solid Pakistani population.

Friends and family had set up a website, www.nazishmemorialfund.org , to help the couple's two children.

The affidavit quotes a text message from Noorani to her brother in which she wrote: "Someday u will find me dead but its cuz of kashi ... He wants to kill me."

Noorani was a native of Karachi, Pakistan, while Parvaiz was originally from Brooklyn, relatives have said. The couple was wed six years ago after meeting at a music festival in Brooklyn, family members said. They were in Boonton to visit relatives.

Parvaiz told family he was attending graduate school at Harvard, but the school has no record of him studying there. He told investigators that he had had extramarital affairs, according to the affidavit.

Stephen, a native of India, was arrested Thursday at her home in Massachusetts, where she lives with her parents and a sister.

Neighbors said the family moved into the neighborhood about five years ago, renovating an abandoned Colonial house on a quiet residential street.

Debbie Stillings said the family was Americanized and did not speak with much of an accent. She said Stephen was sometimes visited by a male friend on a motorcycle.

"They were very friendly and quiet," Stillings said. "My husband teased (Antionette) about the guy on the motorcycle, saying, 'Is that your boyfriend?' and she said, 'No, he's just a friend.'"

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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