A Monmouth County jury has returned guilty verdicts on all charges against a Hightstown man who shot and killed a local woman as she drove along on a state highway in Freehold Township three years ago, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced on Oct. 12.
Kader Mustafa, 40, was convicted of first degree murder, second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of second degree unlawful possession of a weapon and two counts of third degree endangering another person in connection with the killing of 24-year-old Sciasia J. Calhoun, according to a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Jan. 7. Mustafa is facing a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of life in state prison, with a 30-year period of parole ineligibility, according to the press release.
According to the prosecutor’s office, shortly before 11:45 p.m. on May 3, 2018, officers from the Freehold Township Police Department responded to a 911 call originating from a vehicle that was stopped along the westbound Route 33 bypass near the exit ramp for Halls Mill Road.
At that location, officers found three occupants of a 1997 Mazda Protégé: Calhoun, who had sustained a single gunshot wound to the head; her boyfriend; and her 1-year-old daughter. Authorities said Calhoun’s boyfriend and daughter were not physically harmed.
Calhoun was transported to CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township, where she was pronounced dead approximately one hour later.
An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Bureau, assisted by the Freehold Township and Manalapan police departments, revealed Mustafa was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Impala when he fired a single random shot at Calhoun after following her vehicle for several minutes and flashing his high beams.
Mustafa was apprehended in neighboring Manalapan in the area of Oakland Mills Road at approximately 8:10 a.m. May 4, the morning after the shooting. Two handguns were recovered from the vehicle.
The verdict was delivered following a multi-week trial before state Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano Jr.
Representing the state during the proceedings was Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Investigation Division Director and Assistant Prosecutor John Loughrey.
“This was a chilling, senseless crime, committed against a total stranger in the dead of night, in front of the victim’s horrified boyfriend and young child,” Linskey said. “We thank the jury for their service and are deeply gratified to know that while today’s verdict can’t bring Sciasia Calhoun back, this defendant will be kept off the streets and brought to justice for his actions.”
According to an obituary posted online by the Higgins Memorial Home, Freehold Borough, Calhoun was born in Freehold Township and was a lifelong Freehold resident.
She was a graduate of Freehold High School, Freehold Borough, and was to enter a licensed practical nurse program in September 2018.
Calhoun was survived by a daughter, Amia Jade Michael; her mother, Valerie Calhoun; her father, Freddie Woods; her siblings, Dayshia and Daquin Calhoun, Myking Artis, Scikema and Scidera Woods, Shahee Parker, Marshon Brooks, and Cassie Gross.