Menhaz Zaman, a 24-year-old Markham man who pleaded guilty to murdering four of his family members inside their home, has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 40 years.
The sentence is in line with a recommendation put forward by attornies for the Crown and Zaman after he pleaded guilty in September.
It was on July 28, 2019, just before 3 p.m. when York Regional Police said officers were called to a home on Castlemore Avenue, near Mingay Avenue and southwest of Major MacKenzie Drive East and Markham Road, with a report multiple people may have been injured.
A man at the front door of the home, later identified as Zaman, was taken into custody after officers arrived and police found 70-year-old Firoza Begum (grandmother), 59-year-old Moniruz Zaman (father), 21-year-old Malesa Zaman (sister) and Momtaz Zaman (mother) dead inside.
The court heard the family members were murdered the day before. Autopsies showed Zaman had hit each of his family members in the head, likely with a crow bar, and then cut their throats.
Menhaz, who was 23 at the time, was initially charged with four counts of first-degree murder. He allegedly posted details of the deaths in an online chat community, including photos of what are believed to be his dead family members and how they were killed. A picture shared online appeared to show Zaman dressed after showering and holding a knife covered in blood.
In an agreed statement of facts, Menhaz said he killed his family because they were about to find out he had lied for years about going to university to become an engineer.
During a recent sentencing hearing, the lawyer submitted a joint recommendation that Zaman serve life in prison with a 25-year period of parole ineligibility for the first-degree murders of Begum, Moniruz and Malesa. He said Menhaz should have a further 15 years of parole ineligibility for the second-degree murder of Momtaz, noting there were issues in determining if her murder was planned and deliberate.
Menhaz won’t be eligible for parole until he is 64 years old. He also has to submit his DNA to a registry and will have a 10-year weapons ban should he be released on parole.
— With files from The Canadian Press