EAST WINDSOR: Woman admits killing her mother-in-law


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By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
An East Windsor woman has admitted to authorities her involvement in killing her mother-in-law inside their home on Mozart Court last month, a county prosecutor said in court Thursday.
Assistant Mercer County Prosecutor Skylar Weissman, chief of the homicide unit, told a Superior Court judge that Tasneem Diwan allegedly used an “unknown object” to strike Safia Diwan numerous times on Jan. 26. Authorities have said that Safia Diwan, 73, died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Mr. Weissman did not specify a motive for the homicide, although he added that Safia Diwan was found in the house by her son, Nauman, also the husband of Tasneem Diwan, lying in a “pool of blood.” Mr. Weissman said Mr. Diwan previously had tried to call his mother and his wife multiple times but was not able to reach either woman.
Tasneem Diwan went on the run for a few days after the homicide, and was later found at the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City on Jan. 29, authorities have said. She was brought back to Mercer County, where she has been charged with murder and weapons offenses.
At her bail hearing, Tasneem Diwan appeared in Superior Court in Trenton by video from the Mercer County Correction Center, where she is being held on $1 million bail cash or bond. She said nothing during the brief proceeding, with no relatives in the courtroom.
Superior Court Judge Pedro J. Jimenez Jr. kept the bail at the same amount in citing the “great” likelihood of her conviction due to her admission to the murder, the large prison term she faces and her ties to a foreign country.
Mr. Weissman said in court that she has connections to Pakistan, where two of her children reside. She has lived in the United States for the past 35 years, and is a U.S. citizen, said defense lawyer Jamie Hubert in court. Ms. Hubert said Tasneem Diwan has a child living in Mercer County, but the child’s name was not disclosed. Tasneem Diwan turned 46 on Tuesday.
Ms. Hubert had been seeking a bail reduction in arguing that the $1 million amount was “excessive.” She said no forensic evidence ties Tasneem Diwan to the crime.
This was the second time this month Tasneem Diwan had been in front of the same judge.
She was in court, also by video, two weeks ago, when she was told that she did not qualify for a public defender and needed to find an attorney to represent her. But on Thursday, she was represented by Ms. Hubert, of the public defender’s office. The judge indicated Tasneem Diwan has no “visible” means of income.
She has no scheduled court date, with the case likely headed to a grand jury where the Prosecutor’s Office will seek an indictment. In New Jersey, murder carries anywhere from 30 years to life in prison.

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