Attorney Paul Stablien talks with family members of Nayir Muhammad Masrur in 52-4 District Court in November of 2018.

Attorney Paul Stablien talks with family members of Nayir Muhammad Masrur in 52-4 District Court in November of 2018.

File photo by Deb Jacques

Man pleads no contest by reason of insanity to bludgeoning death of aunt

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published July 28, 2020

 Nayir Muhammad Masrur

Nayir Muhammad Masrur


TROY — On June 1, Nayir Muhammad Masrur, 21, pleaded no contest, but mentally ill, to manslaughter in the Nov. 12, 2018, bludgeoning death of his aunt, Rubab Huq, 55, with a 15-pound barbell in the basement of her home.

Masrur had been charged with first-degree murder after reportedly admitting to police he had killed his aunt because he believed she and other family members wanted to harm him.

His sentencing has been postponed three times in recent weeks.

Oakland County Circuit Judge Daniel P. O’Brien adjourned his July 15 sentencing to Aug. 12.

In court documents, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper asked O’Brien to sentence Masrur to serve 19-38 months in jail.

At press time, Masrur had spent over 20 months in the Oakland County Jail, the first six months in solitary confinement.

Cooper said that although the victim’s family has requested that Masrur receive the lowest possible sentence, her office recommends a longer sentence due to the violent nature of his actions — multiple blows resulting in fatal injuries to Huq’s face, skull and brain; his refusal to take medicine for his diagnosed schizophrenia since August 2019; and his past history of reported drug and alcohol abuse.

According to a police statement, Troy police received a 911 call for an ambulance to the home in the South Boulevard and John R Roads area at about 2:30 p.m. Nov. 12, 2018, regarding a severely injured woman.

Police and paramedics arrived and determined that Huq was deceased. According to the police report, before police got the call requesting an ambulance, the caller, another family member, reported that Masrur was missing and in an agitated state.

Troy Police Department Sgt. Meghan Lehman said that when police arrived to search for Masrur, he fled to a home next door, which the family also owns, jumped down from the second story, then fled on foot through the neighborhood.

According to the report, as the responding officer was searching for Masrur, he was summoned to the basement of the home Masrur reportedly had just left by another family member. Police then discovered that Huq was deceased.

In November 2018, Masrur’s attorney, Paul Stablein, said that Masrur was a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, studying economics and had been home in Troy for a few days.

He described Masrur as a “model kid who had never been in trouble or had contact with the police.”

On June 8, Stablein said that he would be asking for a sentence of time served, which would allow Masrur to be released.

He said he couldn’t comment on Masrur’s medical condition.

“Both sons of the deceased are asking the court for the least punishment,” Stablien said. “They don’t believe he was sane at the time of the offense.”

According to court documents, “Nayir, for most of his life, was a bright and academically exceptional student who was liked by everyone who knew him.

“In 2009 he received an award from the President’s Education Awards Program for Outstanding Academic Excellence while at Doherty Elementary School in West Bloomfield. While attending Detroit Country Day School for high school in Beverly Hills, he participated in ... junior varsity soccer and track and field. He graduated from Country Day in 2016. In high school he not only excelled academically, gaining admission to the University of Michigan in the fall of 2016, but throughout his life he had also mastered the violin.”

Court documents state that “numerous friends and relatives wrote letters in support of Masrur, not not only for their heartfelt love of both Nayir and Dr. Rubab Huq, the deceased, but also for an understanding of the bright path Nayir was on that was devastated by a psychotic break not of his doing.”

Court documents state that the deceased’s son submitted a letter that states: “I humbly ask that you release Nayir from prison as soon as possible so that he is able to obtain the psychiatric care that he needs. I could never, even in my wildest dreams, imagine that Nayir did this intentionally or with sound mind. We miss him dearly.

“And he should not be made to continue to suffer. My late mother would never have wanted this, and neither do we.”