A 24-year-old Markham, Ont. man who killed his mother, father, sister, and grandmother inside their family home last summer will now learn his legal fate later this week.
Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and looking into a camera set up inside the Central East Correctional Centre, Menhaz Zaman was expecting to be sentenced on Monday afternoon.
But, technical issues made it difficult to hear the proceedings.
Amid the technical issues, the jailhouse disconnected from the hearing without the judge’s approval, saying another case was scheduled to be heard in the same room.
Justice Michelle Fuerst was therefore forced to put the matter over.
Zaman pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder and three counts of first-degree murder on Sept. 24.
A conviction of first-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. Parole ineligibility periods can be stacked consecutively for multiple counts of murder.
During a virtual hearing held last week, defense lawyer Adele Monaco said her client instructed her to make a joint position with the Crown on sentencing with parole ineligibility set at 40 years – 15 years for the one count of second-degree murder and 25 years consecutive for the three counts of first-degree murder.
The charges were laid against Zaman after emergency crews were called to a home on Castlemore Avenue on the afternoon of July 27, 2019.
He was immediately taken into custody when police arrived at the residence that day, just before officers walked through the home and located the bodies of 21-year-old Malesa Zaman, 59-year-old Moniruz Zaman, 50-year-old Momotaz Begum, and 70-year-old Firoza Begum.
The grim discovery was made after users of an online gaming platform led investigators to the home.
Following submissions from both the defense and the Crown at last week’s sentencing hearing, Zaman spoke briefly, apologizing for his actions.
“I would like to just apologize to anyone I have impacted negatively with my actions,” Zaman told a virtual courtroom. “Especially to the people who knew my family – friends and loved ones who I know could have never seen something like this from me happening.”
According to an agreed statement of facts, Zaman killed his mother first at 3 p.m. and then his grandmother about an hour later. He then sat around playing video games and napping while waiting for his father and sister to return from their jobs. He killed his sister around 11 p.m. and his father about an hour after that.
Zaman struck each of them on the head, with most likely a crow bar, and cut their throats once they fell to the floor, according to the agreed statement of facts.
After the murders took place, the agreed statement of facts said, Zaman told a friend he felt shame because his family believed he was studying engineering at York University. He was enrolled in an electronics engineering program at Seneca College, but dropped out in 2015 due to failing grades.
His family believed Zaman was set to graduate on July 28, 2019 – they day after they were killed.
Fuerst is now expected to render her decision on sentencing via videoconference on Friday at 2:30 p.m.