DATE: May 6, 2024

CASE: Asghar Ehsan (Case #20FE000977)

PROSECUTOR: Principal Criminal Attorney Allison Dunham, Homicide Unit

On April 26, 2024, Asghar Ehsan was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder.  The jury also found true the allegation that Ehsan personally used a knife in the commission of the murder.

On January 14, 2020, Asghar Ehsan stabbed and strangled his wife, Assmaa Ehsan Ashooqullah, to death while she was sleeping next to their 7-month-old son. Ehsan then left the home with his son and met with a friend. Ehsan told his friend he killed his wife because Allah instructed him to do so. His friend tried to convince Ehsan to turn himself in, but Ehsan refused. He left his son with his friend and was later located by law enforcement in Placer County. After a standoff with the Roseville Police Department, their SWAT team and the Sacramento Police Department, he engaged in a high-speed pursuit. Ehsan was eventually taken into custody.

During the investigation, it was discovered Ehsan had attempted to kill his roommate in Santa Rosa in 2000. In that case, Ehsan reported he had been commanded by Allah to start a holy war and needed to kill someone close to him. Ehsan was found legally insane by the Sonoma Superior Court. In 2002, he was released from the state hospital with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Ehsan went on to get an associate degree in psychology and worked for Sonoma County as a Mental Health Worker for over a decade. He was also a member of the Sonoma County Mental Health Panel and presented at critical incident training for law enforcement on how to handle mentally ill suspects.

In this case, Ehsan entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. On May 2, 2024, the jury found Ehsan was legally sane when he committed the murder.

Ehsan faces a maximum sentence of 27 years to life in prison.  Sentencing is set for July 12, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. in Department 41.

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