Son of murder suspect to remain in jail ahead of trial
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On Monday morning, a federal judge decided to keep 21-year-old Shaheen Syed behind bars until his trial. He is the son of Muhammad Syed, a Muslim man charged with ambushing, shooting and killing two Muslim men in Albuquerque.
Muhammad is also the lead suspect in the murders of two other Muslim men.
Federal prosecutors argued Shaheen may be connected to those crimes, calling him a serial liar and a flight risk with a disturbing history of violence.
Prosecutors had recently filed a 14-page detention motion detailing why they believed he should stay in jail. They cited cell phone tower data, indicating short and frequent phone calls Shaheen made with his father around the same time and location the fourth Muslim man was killed – although Muhammad is not yet charged in that case.
Prosecutors also pointed to recent interviews with police where Shaheen was caught was caught lying on multiple occasions, as well as his involvement in two recent violent offenses.
The first was a shooting in a Walmart parking lot last year, where no one was charged. For the second offense, a police report stated that Shaheen beat his 16-year-old sister earlier this year – and it wasn’t the first time.
The defense argued that Shaheen was not charged in any of those incidents, which limits the weight of the evidence against him. They also called the allegations made by federal prosecutors “thin” and “speculative.”
Ultimately, the judge disagreed. He did take Shaheen’s violent history into account, considering him a danger to the public. He also took into account Shaheen’s potential connection to the multiple ongoing murder investigations, as well as friends and family in several other countries where he could try to flee.
The judge ruled that no conditions of release could protect the public.
Shaheen’s father, Muhammad, will also go before a judge this week to determine if he should be released before trial. His detention hearing is set for Wednesday.