A Toronto neurosurgeon accused of strangling his wife while their three children were sleeping pleaded guilty to second degree murder on Monday.
Mohammed Shamji was charged with first degree murder for the death of Elana Fric-Shamji in 2016. His trial was to begin in a few days.
The couple’s relationship has been “unstable and dysfunctional” for several months, a Crown attorney said while reading an agreed statement of facts to the court. The husband had resisted his wife’s requests to initiate divorce proceedings.
M me Fric-Shamji, a family physician in Toronto, began a relationship with another doctor. Mr. Shamji learned this and continued to try to persuade his wife to give up the divorce, the prosecutor added.
During the fateful night, the couple quarreled in their bedroom, waking one of the children who heard the sounds of wrestling and shouting, the judge said.
“Mohammed hit Elana several times, causing injuries all over her body, including the neck. He fractured her ribs and then strangled her to death, prosecutor Henry Poon said. After the murder, Mohammed threw his wife’s body in a suitcase. He then traveled about 35 kilometers north of the city to dump the suitcase into the Humber River. ”
Mohammed Shamji continued his daily routine after the murder, including performing surgeries. The next day, he lied about the whereabouts of his missing wife, the prosecution said. He also presented evidence to point fingers at his wife’s lover.
M me Fric-Shamji was reported missing by her mother. His body was found in a suitcase at the edge of a road north of Toronto on November 30, 2016.
Mohammed Shamji, who worked at the Toronto Western Hospital and was a faculty member at the University of Toronto, was arrested two days later.