Nazish Noorani: Family of mother 'murdered by her husband and his girlfriend' win custody of her sons
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The family of a slain woman whose husband allegedly plotted to kill her with his lover has finally won custody of her two young sons, a year after her horrifying murder.
Nazish Noorani, 27, was gunned down as she left a Ramadan dinner with her husband Kashif Parvaiz, 27. Their two sons, aged three and six, have since been in the custody of Parvaiz's parents.
But now Noorani's two brothers have wrestled custody of the boys, Shayaan and Riyaan, from the parents of the alleged murderer just ahead of the one-year anniversary of the killing.
Killed: Nazish Noorani was allegedly shot dead by her husband's lover. Her sons, Shayaan, now three, and Riyaan, six, were given to her husband's family but have now been handed over to her brothers
Speaking to the New York Post, one of her brothers, Kaleem Noorani, 29, said he was 'relieved to have the kids'.
'They will be happier here, I think,' he said on Thursday, a year after his sister died.
Parvaiz stands accused of paying his lover, Antoinette Stephen, 27, to shoot dead his wife as they walked through Boonton, New Jersey on August 16, 2011 with their youngest son.
Noorani was hit near her heart and Parvaiz, who was shot in the ankle and shoulder, allegedly to cover up any part he had in the crime. He sustained superficial wounds.
Unhappy marriage: Noorani, right, had told her family she feared her husband, who flaunted his affair
Their son, Shayaan, was not injured in the shooting, and the couple's other son was with family members inside the house.
Parvaiz initially told police his family had been attacked by a group of men who called them terrorists, but it emerged he had exchanged incriminating text messages with Stephen before the shooting.
Texts from Stephen's number to Parvaiz describe driving around the neighbourhood to see how far away the nearest police station was.
'You hang in there. Freedom is just around ur corner,' read one text sent from a phone listed to Stephen's father to Parvaiz, according to an affidavit.
Another message, allegedly sent on the day of the shooting from Stephen, said: 'Call me when u can. Delete all msgs from phone. I won't message from here on.'
New home: The boys, pictured, are now in the custody of their mother's brother, Kaleem Noorani, pictured
Family: Noorani is pictured with her brother Kaleem, who has guardianship of her sons with another brother
Remembered: The settlement came three weeks ahead of the one-year anniversary of the shooting last year
After their mother was killed, the boys were handed over to Parvaiz's parents in Brooklyn, New York, although Noorani's family protested that they should not live with the family of an alleged killer.
His family responded that the Nooranis were on welfare and too poor to raise the children.
They eventually reached a settlement three weeks ago, in which guardianship was granted to two of Noorani's brothers and her sister-in-law, the Post reported.
The Parvaiz family will still get the boys on weekends and some holidays, their lawyers said.
'We are pleased that the children’s paternal grandparents were able to come to this realisation that it was in the best interests of the children to remain with their deceased mother’s family,' Freda Khan, the Noorani family lawyer, told the paper.
'It still remains a tragic situation and bittersweet victory for my clients.'
Accused: Stephen appears in court last year accused with shooting dead her boyfriend's wife
'Plan': Parvaiz, who was shot in the leg, had originally claimed they were targeted in a racist attack
Both Parvaiz and Stephen are being held for trial. They both face charges of murder, conspiracy and weapons offences for the August 16 shooting. Parvaiz also faces child-endangerment charges.
He appeared at his first court hearing last year in a wheelchair with bandages covering his shot leg.
Following the shooting, 911 calls were released.
'I just got shot and my wife got shot!' Parvaiz shouted into the phone. 'Can you send an ambulance? I just got shot in the leg!'
Nazish's family and friends have contended that Parvaiz was an abusive philanderer who flaunted his mistress in front of her - even referring to her as his fiancée - on a recent trip to Boston.
Stephen remains in jail on a $5 million bond at the Morris County Correctional Facility in Morristown, New Jersey, where Parvaiz is being held on a $3 million.