Family charged in four Kingston canal deaths

After the tragedy, the mother and father wept, while the eldest sonlashed out in anger, each calling it an accident, a rebelliousteenager’s joyride gone terribly wrong.

After the tragedy, the mother and father wept, while the eldest son lashed out in anger, each calling it an accident, a rebellious teenager’s joyride gone terribly wrong.

Yesterday, as they filed, handcuffed, one by one, into the prisoners’ box, prosecutors offered a much darker explanation, calling it murder.

Authorities are exploring the possibility the deaths of three sisters and another woman, found dead in their car in the Rideau Canal in Kingston, were an “honour” killing, a crime typically committed by males against female relatives perceived to have brought shame upon the family.

Father, Mohammad Shafia, 56, wearing a shy smile; mother, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 39, dabbing her eyes with a tissue; and son, Hamed Mohammad Shafia, with an icy stare, were all charged with four counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

They did not enter a plea, and were remanded into custody.

The Shafia sisters — Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17 and Geeti, 13 — died along with another woman, Rona Amir Mohammed, 50, on June 30. Their car, a Nissan Sentra, was found underwater near the Kingston Mills locks. The family was returning from a trip to Niagara Falls when they stopped for the night at a motel in Kingston.

After the incident, family members told media that Rona Amir Mohammed was the father’s cousin. Police say she is, in fact, Shafia’s first wife.

 
 
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