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A man accused of shooting his friend 11 times in the head in Millbrae after a night of drinking in San Francisco in July 2008 has been found guilty of first-degree murder. After a day and a half of deliberations, the jury handed down the guilty verdict to Teyseer “Terry” Najdawi, 28, in San Mateo County Superior Court late Tuesday for the murder of Jack Chu, 27. The jury also found Najdawi guilty of attempted murder and assault causing great bodily injury for attacking his cellmate about two months after he was arrested for Chu’s murder.
In that incident, Najdawi choked his cellmate in San Mateo County Jail to near unconsciousness before two deputies pulled him off of the victim, according to the district attorney’s office. Najdawi pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to all three crimes, citing paranoia and the ongoing delusion that someone was going to kill him. Defense attorney Jonathan McDougall said his client’s paranoia was the reason he was carrying a semi-automatic handgun on the night of July 7, 2008, when he and Chu went out for a night of heavy drinking at two bars in San Francisco.
Early the morning of July 8, the two men drove to Lincoln Circle in Millbrae, where Najdawi shot his friend 11 times in the head at close range, prosecutors said. Chu’s body was found two days later, slumped in the passenger seat of his car, which had been abandoned on a street in Burlingame within blocks of his family’s home. Najdawi was arrested by a SWAT team in Redding on July 17. Deputy District Attorney Al Giannini dismissed any suggestion of insanity and argued that the killing was fueled by alcohol, Vicodin and the defendant’s inherent tendency toward belligerence.
Najdawi will return to court Thursday, when Judge Mark Forcum will address the sanity issue. He faces life in prison if the court finds that he was sane during the commission of the crimes.
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