HOUSTON -- There is new information in a murder-for-hire plot that ended with a mother dead and her son accused of paying a classmate to do it.
Danish Minhas, 21, pleaded guilty to murder on Thursday in exchange for a plea deal. The former Robert E. Lee High School student is now headed to prison for 50 years.
The closure in the case comes more than four years after he had his mother killed.
Tabassum Khan was killed inside her southwest Houston apartment in November 2009. Her son’s classmate, Nur Mohamed, snuck in and stabbed her repeatedly.
He pleaded guilty to the murder last year and admitted to receiving a $1,000 payment.
“There wasn’t a person that didn’t love her,” said friend Connie Bowen. “Just even her voice was like a heaven sent.”
Connie Bowen worked with Tabassum Khan at a hospital near Houston’s Medical Center. Khan was laid off just weeks before her life was taken.
Bowen says Khan texted her the day before the murder, but she did not respond in time.
“[She said] I need help, please,” recalled Bowen. “I felt guilty not answering her.”
Bowen knew the mother son relationship was going through troubles.
“She said enough to let me know that she was having major problems with him,” said Bowen. “He didn’t care about her. He was always getting mad at her because she gave him rules.”
Mohamed has testified that Minhas approached him about killing his mother while in Spanish class.
Prosecutors say Minhas was determined to escape his mother’s strict rules.
According to Bowen, he was also consumed with material things and always wanted money from his mom.
“He kept demanding and demanding money,” said Bowen. “She tried to give him everything he wanted, but she didn’t make very much money.”
From the outside, Minhas appeared to be a well rounded student. He was class president at Lee High, on the honor roll and made school announcements over the public address system.
Bowen hopes he thinks long and hard about how cold he was to his mother.
“His mother would’ve never wanted him punished.”