sentenced to life, no parole for murder of her husband NRI Dr. Gulam
Ohio, July 18, 2007
David Grant, Defense attorney successfully
argued his client was no more culpable than Bradford, a small-time
Beaver County street thug she met in drug rehabilitation.
- Grant argued "the death penalty is reserved for the worst
of the worst: serial killers, people who kill children; people
who plant bombs in buildings where hundreds of people die."
- "We are not going to seek to justify...excuse...condone....what
happened here," he continued. "Gulam Moonda was a good
man, a generous man. He did not deserve to die."
- But, he reminded the jurors, Donna Moonda's death is not going
to bring him back to life.
- "There is no question that Donna Moonda will die in prison.
The only question is if the government will decide when it happens
or if God will decide when it happens," Grant told the jury
before they began deliberations.
Damien Bradford boy friend of her, was the key witness
against her was sentenced last week to 17 1/2 years in prison as
part of a plea-bargain arrangement with prosecutors. The prosecutors
made a deal with a Damian Bradford.
She cried as Barr described her as a "wanton...willful"
schemer who "plied Damian Bradford with money."
- She made the plea agreement with the approval of Gulam Moonda's
family because it was the only way to bring Donna Moonda to justice.
- Dr. Gulam Moonda had every right in the world to live...But
Donna Moonda was one of two people who callously took that right
away....for the basest of all possible motives -- money
Dr. Ravi Sachdeva close friend, confidante and
the executor of his will, said:
- He believes Donna Moonda changed when she started using drugs.
- I mean, I knew her for 25 years since he started dating her
and she's not the person I thought she was
Defense attorney Roger Synenberg said:
- He predicted Bradford's lighter sentence would play a role in
the jury's decision.
- How can you ignore that the fellow who shot Dr. Moonda will
be out of jail before he's 39 years old
judge sentenced Damien Bradford 17.5 yrs in jail for killing NRI
Donna Moonda will get the
possibility of the death penalty or life in prison without parole
Ohio, July 13, 2007
Ohio judge sentenced Damian Bradford for killing a
NRI doctor, the confessed murderer told the judge that Donna Moonda
betrayed him by not sticking to their original plan.
Bradford's cooperation with investigators reduced his sentence
for gunning down Dr. Gulam Moonda. He could be a free man when he's
Ohio jury found Donna Moonda guilty on all counts for arranging
the murder of her husband. Her sentencing hearing is set to begin
Donna Moonda will get the possibility of the death penalty or life
in prison without parole
Dr. Moonda's nephew, Dr. Farouq Moonda said that while Bradford
should get the punishment of a murderer, he holds Donna Moonda more
accountable for his actions.Bradford told the judge that he thought
Donna Moonda would stick to their original plan and describe the
gunman opposite of his description.
"I was betrayed," he added. "I thought that person
was going to be there for me as my star witness."
Bradford said: "I made the decision to do what I did... I
want to say to the family that I'm sorry."
Bradford's attorney, Michael DeRiso, also revealed today what it
was like when Bradford decided to plea about a year ago.
"We knew from Mrs. Moonda's previous counsel that she intended
to take the Fifth and that Fifth Amendment would be exercised in
front of the jury which is incredibly damaging," DeRiso added.
"We talked to Damian and Damian broke down and indicated that,
you know what, 'I have to do what I have to do. The family needs
to know the truth.' He just kept repeating that -- and here we are."
No bail for
wife who killed her NRI Husband
Ohio, Aug. 06, 2006
US federal judge, Ohio, denied bail to wife of NRI,
accused her for plotting her millionaire NRI husband's murder with
the help of her boyfriend. US district judge David Dowd said the
evidence against Donna strongly suggested that she planned to kill
Dr. Gulam Moonda, 69, and that she enlisted her lover Damian Bradford's
help to carry out the murder. The judge wrote that "the apparent
planning for some time of the killing of her husband and the detailed
planning of the homicide strongly suggests that she remains capable
of being a danger to any person or the community if released"
Prosecutors have claimed that Donna, 47, conspired
with her boyfriend to kill her husband so she could collect millions
in inheritance and life insurance.
NRI Dr. Gulam
Moonda, 69, urologist shot to death,
NRI doctor Gulam Moonda, age 69, was murdered while
traveling on a highway with his Wife, Donna Smouse Moonda, 47and
her mother. He was going a weekend trip on May 23, 2005 to Toledo,
Ohio, to look at a house his nephew, Faroq Moonda, and Faroq's wife,
Afreen, were interested in buying.
Mrs Moonda reported that her husband asked to stop at a convenience
store to buy a bottle of water. During the transaction, she says,
the doctor may have inadvertently flashed a large wad of cash. About
six miles later--around 6:30pm, still daylight--and just two miles
beyond a busy rest area on the Ohio Turnpike, Mrs. Moonda pulled
over and asked her husband to take the wheel. As he exited the car
to comply, another vehicle pulled up behind the Jaguar. The other
driver approached the doctor and demanded his wallet. The doctor
obeyed at once. Although he had received the money, the thief shot
Dr. Moonda in the face and fled in a dark van. Mrs. Moonda, hysterical,
did not have sufficient composure to note the gunmans appearance
or to record his license number. She telephoned police, and state
troopers arrived shortly, although too late to help Dr. Moonda.
Faroq and his wife, who had been traveling the same stretch of
highway, came upon the scene of the crime, recognized the Jaguar
and stopped. They learned Dr. Moonda had died of his gunshot wound.
The police almost immediately suspected a more complicated story
than was told. Why had the thief bothered to shoot Dr. Moonda when
the wallet was already turned over? Why had the two witnesses been
spared? Why did the convenience store not have video of the doctor
buying the bottle of water? As time went on, other questions arose.
As they investigated the doctors death, police soon discovered
Mrs. Moonda had recently pleaded no contest to a charge that shewhile
working as a nurse anesthetist at local hospitalhad stolen
quantities of the painkiller fentanyl, which she took home for her
own use. She admitted, in fact, to being an addict. She was placed
on probation and required to attend a two-month rehabilitation program
at a clinic an hours drive from her home.
While in rehabjust a month before her husbands death--Mrs.
Moonda began a relationship with Damian Bradford, age 23, a self-described
cocaine dealer also enrolled in the rehab program.
After Dr. Moondas murder, the police tracked down Bradford
and found him living near the rehab facility in an apartment with
a lease that listed Mrs. Moonda as a cohabitant. In that apartment,
police found gifts from Mrs. Moonda to Bradford, along with six
cell phones, a number of syringes, vials of injectable testosterone,
bloody towels, and a t-shirt and sweat pants spattered in blood.
The police call Bradford a person of interest in the
murder of Dr. Moonda. He has been arrested and jailed for parole
violations and on drug possession charges. Mrs. Moonda remains free.
She has hired a respected trial lawyer from Cleveland and no longer
speaks to the press. Various DNA tests are underway.
Just last week, on August 1, a hiker found Dr. Moondas wallet
7 miles from the scene of his shooting. Police have not disclosed
the contents of the wallet, but report that highway workers recently
found other personal items a few miles from the crime scene.
NRI Dr. Gulam Moonda, 69,
NRI Dr. Gulam Moonda, who was a successful
urologist in Hermitage city in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. A medical
specialist who works hard and treats many patients, which is what
Moondas colleagues say he did, can accumulate a considerable
Moonda came to the United States in 1970 from India, To his patients,
he was a man who mixed modern medicine with old-fashioned care and
compassion. Moonda continued to have close ties to his family in
India."He took care of his family and brothers in India, his
sisters in India, his in-laws -- Donna's mother (and) father. He
was a really quiet gentle man we will really miss him," said
Dr. Iftikhar Chatha,
Doctors and friends at Sharon Regional Health System offered insight
about the slain urologist."They were allowed to call him anytime
at home, he always used to tell them call me anytime any problems
at home and they used to do that, said Dr. Ravi Sachdva, Moonda's
Dr. Peter Daloni, another one of Moonda's friends, said, "I
unfortunately have had to see several patients this morning who
were in the hospital and they were quite shook up also talked to
some patients on this morning and there's quite a loss and quite
a gap that we're going to have to fill."
In the same document, Ohio Highway Patrol Sgt. Gerald Funelli values
the doctors entire estate at between $2 million and $3 million.
She would also have received $676,000 from her husbands two
life insurance policies. Among the items on the estate inventory
is the doctors $550,000 home on Trout Island Road in Hermitage
and vacant land worth $650,000 that he owns along the road.
Moondas will is complex and his beneficiaries were not expected
to collect on his estate until several years after his death because
he left a substantial portion of his money to relatives and charities
in India, his native country.
The inventory of Moondas personal property and real estate
on file in Mercer County Common Pleas Court values his assets at
A pending medical malpractice suit against Moonda, 69, is also
prolonging settling the estate.Dr. Iftikhar Chatha, a co-executor
of Moondas estate, said Mrs. Moonda is not receiving money
from her husbands estate because the will is tied up in court.
Dr. Moonda has been described as a man who enjoyed his wealth,
and newspapers often characterize him as a millionaire doctor.
His home has been described as a mansion, although the
house would not be considered grand in communities more affluent
than the modest one in which he lived and worked. Dr. Moonda gave
generously to the mosque where he worshipped, funded a chair in
Islamic studies at a nearby college, and gave money to help friends
and family in this country and India.
Wife, Donna Smouse Moonda,
47, is a nurse anesthetist
- Dr. Moondas wife, a blond, former high school cheer leader
began her career as a receptionist in another physicians
office but later became a nurse anesthetist, her education generously
funded by Dr. Moonda.
- Mr. Bradford also told police that Mrs. Moonda began talking
about finding someone to kill her husband in December 2004. He
said he agreed to shoot the 69-year-old urologist from Mercer
County, Pa., because Mrs. Moonda promised him half of her inheritance
and life insurance proceeds, totaling more than $3 million.
- By Mr. Bradford's account, Mrs. Moonda decided the killing should
be done on a family outing and made to look like a highway robbery.
She and her mother, Dorothy Smouse, 76, witnessed Dr. Moonda's
- Mr. Bradford, though, told police he spent a few days with Mrs.
Moonda after Christmas. He wanted money, he said, and she gave
him about $2,000. The big promised payday from inheritance was
held up by the murder investigation.
- Mrs. Moonda has some $200,000 in jewelry and a retirement fund
of another $125,000 available to her, she could run if she is
released on bail, the prosecutor said.
- Bradford, 25, has pleaded guilty to the shooting on the Ohio
Turnpike the evening of May 13, 2005 and agreed to testify for
a reduced sentence. He told investigators that Mrs. Moonda believed
she would get $3 million to $6 million from her husbands
estate, according to the criminal complaint against her.
- Donna Moonda had reportedly been having an affair with Bradford.
According to Bradford's mother, the two met in a court-ordered
drug rehabilitation program.