Nawaz Ahmed Ohio Death Row

nawaz ahmed

Nawad Ahmed was sentenced to death by the State of Ohio for the murder of his estranged wives family. According to court documents Nawad Ahmed would murder 39-year-old Dr. Lubaina Bhatti, her father, 78-year-old Abdul Majid Bhatti, her sister, 35-year-old Ruhie Ahmed, and her niece, two-year-old Nasira Ahmed. Nawad Ahmed would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.

Ohio Death Row Inmate List

Nawad Ahmed 2021 Information

Number A404511

DOB 10/25/1954

Gender Male Race Other

Admission Date 02/02/2001

Institution Chillicothe Correctional Institution

Status INCARCERATED

Nawad Ahmed More News

On the afternoon of September 11, 1999, Belmont County Sheriff deputies discovered the bodies of Dr. Lubaina Ahmed, Ruhie Ahmed, Nasira Ahmed, and Abdul Bhatti in Lubaina’s rental home.   Later that night, defendant-appellant, Nawaz Ahmed, was detained before he could depart for Pakistan on a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport (“JFK”) in New York. Appellant was indicted for the aggravated murders of his estranged wife, Lubaina, her father, Abdul, and her sister and niece, Ruhie and Nasira.   Nawad Ahmed was found guilty and sentenced to death.

I. Facts and Case History

{¶ 2} In October 1998, Lubaina hired an attorney to end her marriage with appellant and to secure custody of their two children, Tariq and Ahsan.   According to Lubaina’s divorce attorney, appellant did not want a divorce, and consequently, it was a hostile divorce proceeding.   In early February 1999, shortly after the complaint for divorce had been filed, Lubaina was awarded temporary custody of the children and exclusive use of the marital residence.   Later that month, the divorce court issued a restraining order to prevent appellant from coming near Lubaina or making harassing phone calls to her.

{¶ 3} Nawaz Ahmed had accused Lubaina, a physician, of having an affair with another physician, and claimed that their oldest son, Tariq, was not his.   A subsequent paternity test showed that claim to be false.   According to Lubaina’s divorce attorney, Grace Hoffman, Lubaina had been afraid of appellant, and she had called Hoffman three or four times a week, “scared [and] frustrated * * *.   It just kept escalating.”   Lubaina had also confided to Hoffman that appellant had forced her to have sex with him during the marriage.

{¶ 4} Tahira Khan, one of Lubaina’s sisters, corroborated that Lubaina had feared appellant.   She also testified that Lubaina had told her that appellant had raped her repeatedly.

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 {¶ 5} The owner of the rental home where Lubaina resided testified that Lubaina had called him in February 1999 and asked him to change the locks on the house.   He stated that Lubaina had been very upset and had asked that he change them within the hour.

{¶ 6} In March 1999, Lubaina complained to police that Nawaz Ahmed was harassing her by telephone, but after the officer explained that the matter could be handled through criminal or civil proceedings, she decided to handle it through the ongoing divorce proceedings.   The final divorce hearing was scheduled for Monday, September 13, 1999, and Lubaina had arranged for her sister Ruhie to fly in from California the Friday before to testify at the hearing.

{¶ 7} On Friday, September 10, 1999, Nawaz Ahmed called Lubaina’s office several times.   But Lubaina had instructed the medical assistants at her office to reject any phone calls from him.   Then, at approximately 4:00 p.m. that day, Lubaina took appellant’s call.   Appellant, who worked and lived in Columbus, wanted Lubaina to bring the children to him for the weekend two hours earlier than planned.   Appellant claimed that he was planning a surprise birthday party for their youngest son.   Lubaina, however, refused to change her plans and told appellant that he was using the birthday party as an excuse to inconvenience her.

{¶ 8} Rafi Ahmed, husband of Ruhie and father of two-year-old Nasira, testified that Ruhie and Nasira had been scheduled to arrive in Columbus from California at 10:34 p.m. on Friday, September 10.   Ruhie had planned to call Rafi that night when she arrived at Lubaina’s home near St. Clairsville.   However, since he had not heard from Ruhie, Rafi began calling Lubaina’s home at 1:21 a.m., Saturday, September 11.   Rafi called 20 to 25 times, but he got only Lubaina’s answering machine.   At approximately 3:00 a.m., he called the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office.

{¶ 9} A parking receipt found in Lubaina’s van indicated that the van had entered a Columbus airport parking lot at 9:30 p.m. and exited at 11:14 p.m. on September 10, 1999.

{¶ 10} Around 3:45 a.m. on September 11, in response to Rafi Ahmed’s call, a sheriff’s detective went to Lubaina’s home and knocked on the doors and rang the doorbell.   She got no answer.   The detective also looked in the windows, but nothing at the home appeared to be disturbed.

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{¶ 11} Later that day, Belmont County Sheriff’s Department Detective Steve Forro was assigned to investigate the missing persons.   He recognized Lubaina’s name because he was the officer who had talked to her regarding appellant’s harassing phone calls.   Forro called appellant’s home to see if he had any information.   Nawaz Ahmed did not answer, so Forro called Columbus police to have them check appellant’s apartment.   They did and found that he was not home.

 {¶ 12} Forro went to Lubaina’s home at 2:18 p.m. As he walked around the outside of the house, he noticed a flicker of a car taillight through a garage window.   Using a flashlight, he looked through the window and saw a van with its hatch open and luggage inside.   He then saw the body of a man on the floor covered with blood.

{¶ 13} Forro called for backup.   Deputy Dan Showalter responded and entered through a side door, which he had found unlocked.   He searched the house and found three more bodies on the basement floor.

{¶ 14} Detective Bart Giesey found appellant’s MCI WorldCom employee badge on the basement floor near the bodies.   Records from appellant’s employer, MCI WorldCom in Hilliard, Ohio, revealed that appellant’s badge was last used at 7:19 p.m. on September 10, 1999.

{¶ 15} Through several inquiries, police learned that Nawaz Ahmed was scheduled to depart from JFK for Lahore, Pakistan, that evening.   Earlier that day, appellant, through a travel agent, had booked a flight leaving for Pakistan that same evening.   Appellant had made arrangements to pick up the airline ticket at the travel agent’s home near JFK. Appellant arrived at the agent’s home with both of his sons and asked if he could leave them with the agent, saying that his wife would pick them up soon.   Appellant wrote on the back of his and Lubaina’s marriage certificate, which he gave to the agent, that he was leaving his sons to be handed over to his wife.   Nawaz Ahmed also signed his car over to the agent.   The agent then drove appellant to JFK to catch his flight to Pakistan.

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{¶ 16} At 8:10 p.m., Robert Nanni, a police officer stationed at JFK, learned that appellant was a murder suspect and that he had checked in for a flight scheduled to leave for Pakistan at 8:55 p.m. Appellant was located and arrested.   Nanni noticed a large laceration on appellant’s right thumb.   Nanni read appellant his rights and called airport paramedics to attend to appellant’s thumb.   Among the items confiscated from appellant was an attaché case containing 15 traveler’s checks totaling $7,500, his will, and $6,954.34 in cash.

{¶ 17} On October 7, 1999, a grand jury indicted appellant on three counts of aggravated murder for purposely and with prior calculation and design killing Lubaina, Ruhie, and Abdul, pursuant to R.C. 2903.01(A), and one count for the aggravated murder of Nasira, pursuant to R.C. 2903.01(C) (victim younger than 13).   All four aggravated murder counts carried a death-penalty specification alleging a course of conduct involving the killing of two or more persons.  R.C. 2929.04(A)(5).   The aggravated murder count for Nasira carried an additional death-penalty specification alleging that the victim was younger than 13 years at the time of the murder.  R.C. 2929.04(A)(9).

{¶ 18} At trial, Dr. Manuel Villaverde, the Belmont County Coroner, testified that he had been called to the crime scene on September 11, 1999.   All four  victims appeared to have died from blood loss from slashes on their necks.   Based on the condition of the bodies, he determined that the victims had been killed at approximately 3:00 a.m. that day, with two to four hours’ variation either way.

{¶ 19} A deputy coroner for Franklin County performed autopsies on all four victims and concluded that each victim had died from skull fractures and a large cut on the neck.

{¶ 20} Diane Larson, a forensic scientist at the DNA-serology section of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (“BCI”), concluded that the DNA of blood found in the kitchen of Lubaina’s home matched appellant’s DNA profile.   The probability of someone else in the Caucasian population having that same DNA profile is 1 in 7.6 quadrillion, and in the African-American population, the probability is 1 in 65 quadrillion.

{¶ 21} After deliberating, the jury found Nawaz Ahmed guilty as charged.   After the mitigation hearing, the jury recommended death, and the court imposed a death sentence on appellant.

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/oh-supreme-court/1014518.html

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