The man who was convicted of shooting a friend multiple times in the head while in the friend's car, then driving to Burlingame and leaving the body, was sentenced Thursday in a San Mateo County Superior Courtroom to 57 years in prison.
Teyseer Zaid Najdawi, 29, shot his friend Jack Chu 11 times with a semi-automatic handgun while in Chu's car near Lincoln Circle in Millbrae.
Chu's body was found two days later in the passenger seat of the car.
"We just don't know what set him off," says Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti. "We just have no way of knowing."
Najdaw fled to Northern California where he was apprehended by a SWAT team while staying in a Redding motel room.
Najdawi was also convicted of attempted murder for choking an unrelated cellmate while in county jail two months after his arrested. He was sent to a state mental hospital after the attack, and Najdawi’s sanity had been a recurring issue throughout the trail.
During the 20-day trial, Deputy District Attorney Al Giannini argued that the killing was fueled by alcohol, prescription pills and Najdawi's inherent tendency toward belligerence, rather than insanity.
Judge Mark Forcum agreed and ruled that the defense failed to prove Najdawi was insane at the time of the murder.
Thursday, Forcum denied a motion for a new trial, sought by defense attorney Jonathan McDougall. The court listened to a statement read by a cousin of Chu, then sentenced Najdawi to 57 years-to-life, broken down as 25 years-to-life for the first degree murder, 25 years-to-life for the use of the firearm, two years of concurrent time for possessing a firearm as a felon, and seven years of consecutive time for the attempted murder of the cellmate he attacked after the murder.
Guidotti says surveillance videotape recorded of Najdawi harassing Chu the night of the murder was also played for jurors during the trial.
Najdawi will be sent to San Quentin for the time being; there, authorities will determine his ultimate incarceration facility.
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