Mercer County, NJ man gets life in prison for shooting woman as she drove along Route 33 in Freehold, NJ
Kader Mustafa, a 40-year-old man from Mercer County will spend the rest of his life behind prison walls and won't even become eligible for parole until he turns 104-years old for maliciously murdering a woman driving along Route 33 West in Freehold Township on this day in 2018, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced on Tuesday.
On Thursday, May 3, 2018, 24-year old Sciasia Calhoun was driving a 1997 Mazda Protege along Route 33 West near the exit for Halls Mill Road in Freehold Township as she and her 1-year-old daughter and boyfriend were on their way to Asbury Park but then realized the headlights on the vehicle weren't working, just the high beams were that night, according to Judge Vincent N. Falcetano Jr. who oversaw the case in court.
She turned the car around and the three of them were heading back home when they came across Mustafa in a 2005 Chevrolet Impala who started firing a gun right at them and hit Sciascia Calhoun in the head but somehow had the presence of mind at that moment to bring the car to safety.
“Her last act,” Judge Falcetano said in court, "was to somehow safely pull over the vehicle to the side of the road, despite having been shot by a man he described as a “cauldron of rage” who was “marauding … aimlessly” that night, while armed. “This was completely random. I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to describe it.”
Sciasia Calhoun was the only one injured in the vehicle with her boyfriend and 1-year-old daughter not suffering any injuries.
Freehold Township Police arrived on the scene on a 911 call around 11:45 pm and shortly thereafter, Calhoun was rushed by Freehold First Aid, with the assistance of Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corporation to CentraState Medical Center.
She was pronounced dead about one hour later at the hospital.
Mustafa was driving and suddenly fired a shot at Calhoun after following her for several minutes and tapped her rear bumper along the way, according to the investigation conducted by the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau and Freehold Police with "significant assistance from the Manalapan Police Department."
The following morning, at 8:10 am, Mustafa was arrested at his cousin’s residence near Oakland Mills Road in Manalapan where police also found two handguns.
According to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, many members of Calhoun's family spoke in court at the sentencing on Monday.
"They described a “diamond in the rough” with ample ambition and a fierce independent streak, who stubbornly refused to let anyone help her learn how to ride a bicycle as a young child – despite bumps, bruises, and scratches piling up – until she had perfected it on her own."
“The defendant chose to randomly fire a shot and randomly kill a 24-year-old who had done absolutely nothing to him,” MCPO Director of Investigations Christopher Decker, who represented the State at sentencing, said in court, according to the MCPO. “There’s nothing more depraved or heinous.”
Mustafa was convicted by a jury in October of 2021 on 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.
MCPO Investigation Division Director and Assistant Prosecutor John Loughrey, who Acting Prosecutor Linskey said has since retired, handled the prosecution of this case.