A Sacramento Superior Court jury began deliberations today in the murder trial of a woman accused of shooting and killing her husband after trying to make it look like they were the victims of a carjacking.
Shajia Ayobi, 46, an emigre from Afghanistan, later changed her story to say it was the CIA who killed her husband, Ghulam Rabani Ayobi, 53, shortly after midnight on Dec. 18, 2011. She then testified at trial she paid somebody to do the fatal shooting in her car on Interstate 80 while they were driving to their Foothill Farms home from a dinner party in Natomas.
Ayobi's defense attorney, Peter Kmeto, argued that she suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome as a result of witnessing armed conflict in her native country and after suffering alleged domestic abuse from her husband, who had worked as a cultural sensitivity consultant for the U.S. Army. Kmeto asked jurors to either acquit Ayobi on self-defense grounds or convict her of voluntary manslaughter on a theory of imperfect self-defense.
Deputy District Attorney Kevin Greene told the jury that Ayobi killed her husband because she wanted to be free of his control without having to be stigmatized by divorce. Greene said Ayobi also stood to gain $285,000 in insurance money with her husband's death and that she needed him out of the way to resume her career, which Kmeto said involved training translators for U.S. government subcontractors.