Son of suspect in Muslim slayings to make plea on gun charge

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The son of an Afghan refugee suspected in the shooting deaths of four Muslim men in New Mexico has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to a charge that he provided a false address when buying two guns last year.

Court records detail the proposed agreement filed last week between Shaheed Syed and prosecutors. It calls for Syed to be sentenced to time already served and to be placed on three years of supervised release.

There’s no indication how soon the court could sign off on the proposal. Neither prosecutors nor Syed’s public defender would comment on the pending motion.

Authorities have charged Syed’s father — Muhammad Syed — with three counts of murder and tampering with evidence charges in the killings that shook New Mexico’s Muslim community over the summer. The elder Syed also is a suspect in a killing of a Muslim shop owner in Albuquerque last year.

No motive has been disclosed. Police say bullet casings found at two crime scenes were linked with casings found in Muhammad Syed’s vehicle and guns found at his home and in his vehicle.

Muhammad Syed, who has been in the U.S. with his family for several years, had denied involvement in the killings when authorities detained him. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during a hearing in state district court in late August. He remains in custody.

Prosecutors have alleged that Shaheen Syed may have played a role in at least one of the killings, but he has not been charged in that case.

In court filings, prosecutors pointed to cellphone records that they say show Syed possibly helped his father track Naeem Hussain, a 25-year-old man from Pakistan who was fatally shot on Aug. 5 in the parking lot of a refugee resettlement agency in southeast Albuquerque.

John Anderson, Shaheen Syed’s attorney, said during an earlier court hearing that those allegations against his client were “thin and speculative.”

As for the weapons charge, Syed had used a Florida address on his firearm application even though he currently lived in Albuquerque.

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