EAST WINDSOR: Woman accused of killing mother-in-law makes first court appearance


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By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
An East Windsor woman accused of murdering her mother-in law in their Mozart Court home has two weeks to hire a defense lawyer before her next court date later this month.
Tasneem Diwan appeared Thursday via video camera from the Mercer County Correction Center for a scheduled bail hearing in Superior Court in Trenton. She was told by Judge Pedro J. Jimenez Jr. that she had failed to qualify for a public defender and that she needed to get a defense lawyer by Feb.18, the next time that she is due in front of him.
“How do I go about doing that?” she asked the judge as she sat in a room in the county jail.
He then suggested ways she could fine one, including going through the Yellow Pages.
“Ok, I’ll try,” she said.
Ms. Diwan allegedly killed her 73-year-old mother-in-law Jan.26 and then went on the lam before she was picked up in Atlantic City three days later, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office has said.
Ms. Diwan, 45, allegedly hit Safia Diwan on the head numerous times with an undisclosed object, authorities said. Responding East Windsor Police found the older woman’s dead body in a front office, authorities said. An autopsy revealed she had died of blunt force trauma to the head, the Prosecutor’s Office said.
When asked about a motive or what the murder weapon was, assistant Mercer County Prosecutor Skylar Weissman, chief of the Prosecutor’s Office homicide unit, said outside court Thursday that the matter is still under investigation.
Ms. Diwan fled the area, only to be found in the bus terminal area of the Tropicana Casino on Jan.29, the Prosecutor’s Office said. She was detained by security and Atlantic City Police, until authorities could pick her up and bring her back to Mercer County.
In addition to murder, she also has been charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and with unlawful possession of a weapon, authorities said. She remains held at the jail on $1 million bail.

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