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Contract Killings


Saturday, 5 April 2008

Nelson Oswaldo Mendoza, Miguel Angel Servando-Ortiz$100,000 to do the job,

Miguel Angel Servando-Ortiz, 40, of Katy and Nelson Oswaldo Mendoza, 34, of Houston, to stand trial on charges of first-degree, premeditated, murder and felony firearm in the deaths of Aasha Chhabra, 56, and her husband, Brij Chhabra, 65.
The Chhabras were found shot to death in second-floor rooms of their home on Delaware Drive on March 11 in what police described as murder-for-hire.
"Brij talked to his daughter on the phone at 12:45 p.m.," said assistant prosecutor Ken Frazee, adding the suspects were videotaped between 2:41 and 2:56 p.m. at the station, a half-mile from the house. Drury also heard Saif Jameel, owner of the BP gas station at Crooks and Big Beaver roads, tell how the pair and their vehicle were videotaped on his store security cameras, which even captured the license plate of the vehicle they were arrested in 90 minutes later in Taylor.
"It appears whatever you paid for the system was worth it today," Drury said to Jameel. Against defense attorneys' objections, Drury tacked on a charge of conspiracy to murder. Investigators say both suspects were pulled over by Taylor police in that city after 5 p.m. and found in possession of a handgun and bloodstained documents linked to the Chhabra house, including a map.
Last week, Eduardo Hernandez of Wixom testified he was contacted by the suspects about coming to Michigan to look for work. But once they got here, Servando-Ortiz told Hernandez of their real objective.
"He (Servando-Ortiz) indicated he had lied to me," said Hernandez. "He wasn't here for work. He was here to get rid of two people. Kill."
According to federal affidavits, Servando-Ortiz and Mendoza were hired by Doug Tobar, 40, of Houston, and Narayan Thadani, 60, of Richmond, Texas, to kill the Troy couple because of a pending lawsuit in Texas against Thadani by Aasha Chhabra.
She and Thadani had been childhood friends in India and he had agreed to help transfer her $1.5 million inheritance to the United States. Her lawsuit claimed Thadani, a retired engineer, instead withdrew funds without her knowledge or permission into his own account and refused to return them to her. Thadani and Tobar are expected to be extradited next week to stand trial on federal charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday.
Tobar was Thadani's landscaper and gardener, according to federal documents, and set up the contract with Servando-Ortiz, who told Hernandez he was promised $100,000 to do the job, Hernandez said

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