A 24-year-old Ontario man who killed his entire family apologized Monday to anyone he had “impacted negatively” with his actions, as lawyers asked a judge to hand him a life sentence with no parole for 40 years.
Menhaz Zaman pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder for killing his parents, sister and grandmother on July 27, 2019, in their home in Markham, Ont.
Appearing via video conference at a sentencing hearing that was held virtually, Zaman addressed the court in a flat tone.
“I would like to just apologize to anyone I have impacted negatively with my actions, and especially to the people who knew my family and friends and loved ones who I know could never have seen something like this happening,” Zaman said, as he was seen wearing an orange jumpsuit as he appeared from the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ont.
At a sentencing hearing today, the Crown and defence say they want the period of parole ineligibility to run 25 years concurrently for the first-degree murder charges, plus 15 years of parole ineligibility for the second-degree murder count.
Police found the bodies of 70-year-old Firoza Begum, 59-year-old Moniruz Zaman, 50-year-old Momtaz Begum, and 21-year-old Malesa Zaman in their home and arrested Menhaz Zaman, now 24 years old.
Court heard just a solitary victim impact statement, from Malesa Zaman’s best friend, Afnan Alibaccas, which was read out by the Crown attorney.
“I’ve been broken ever since she was taken away,” Alibaccas wrote.
“It’s hard to cope with a murder. It’s even harder when the person taken away from you is the person closest to you.”
She said she has been best friends with Malesa Zaman since they first met in Grade 3.
“I never thought I’d have to write a victim impact statement for my best friend’s murder,” Alibaccas wrote.
“I thought the only time I’d write a speech for her was on her wedding day at some point in the future, but I guess that’s off the table.”
She said she has isolated herself and has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder that she is taking medication for. Alibaccas said she has yet to see a therapist because she does not have insurance to cover the cost.
According to an agreed statement of facts read out in court last month, Menhaz Zaman first thought of killing his family three years earlier.
“I did this bc I don’t want my parents to feel the shame of having a son like me,” he said in a message to a friend after the murders.
All counts come with an automatic life sentence in prison.