US Court Awards Death To Iftekhar Murtaza Who Killed Hindu Indian American Family in California


SANTA ANA, Calif. — Iftekhar Murtaza, convicted of killing the father and sister of his ex-girlfriend in a fiery attack on the Indian American family’s Southern California home, has been sentenced to death, reports AP.

The OrangeCounty district attorney’s office said 30-year-old Iftekhar Murtaza was sentenced March 3 in Santa Ana.

He was convicted for the murders of 56-year-old Jay Dhanak and his 20-year-old daughter Karishma in 2007.

Prosecutors say he killed the pair in a plot to reunite with his then-18-year-old ex-girlfriend Shayona Dhanak after she ended their relationship citing her Hindu family’s opposition to her dating a Muslim.

Authorities say Murtaza and a friend burned the family’s Anaheim Hills home and kidnapped and killed Dhanak’s father and sister, leaving their bodies in a park.

A jury recommended Murtaza receive the death penalty.

According to an earlier report in India-West, Murtaza was convicted in 2013 of the murders of the father and sister of his ex-girlfriend, and the attempted murder of her mother, in what prosecutors say was an ill-conceived attempt to reunite the couple.

“We’re very pleased with the verdicts,” said prosecutor Howard Gundy at the time.

Dhanak’s mother Leela was stabbed and left for dead after the home was torched, but she survived.

Two of Murtaza’s friends were convicted in the killings, and one of them was sentenced to life in prison. 

Source: India West