Ms. Stephen entered a plea agreement in Morris County Superior Court, agreeing to cooperate with authorities in their investigation and prosecution of Mr. Parvaiz, who is believed to have paid Ms. Stephen to commit the murder.
Initially, Mr. Parvaiz told police that the shots that killed his wife were fired by three men who shouted anti-Muslim epithets. Mr. Parvaiz was also injured in the shooting, but authorities now think that he participated in the shooting and allowed himself to be shot so that it would look like a random attack.
Ms. Stephen is scheduled to be sentenced on August 16. Although Ms. Stephen faces a maximum sentence of life plus 50 years after pleading guilty to murder, the terms of the sealed plea agreement could allow her to avoid such a lengthy sentence. Additionally, Ms. Stephen’s cooperation with authorities could go a long way toward gaining her parole in 30 years.
According to the terms of the plea agreement, several other charges will be decided at Ms. Stephen’s sentencing, including aggravated assault and weapons charges.
The prosecution does not plan to make a plea offer to Mr. Parvaiz.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Woman Pleads Guilty to Murder in Shooting Death of Mom on Boonton Street.“