Toronto Man Who Killed His Wife Gets Life Sentence With No Parole for 14 Years

May 9, 2019 Updated: May 9, 2019

TORONTO—A Toronto man who murdered his wife two days after she filed for divorce has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 14 years.

Neurosurgeon Mohammed Shamji, 43, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder in the death of 40-year-old Elana Fric Shamji, a well-respected family doctor.

He attacked her, broke her neck and ribs, and choked her to death as their three children slept nearby.

Shamji then stuffed his wife’s body in a suitcase and dumped it in the Humber River, court heard. He went to work as usual the next morning, performing surgeries while his wife was reported missing. He was arrested a day later, after her body had been found.

Court heard Fric Shamji served her husband with divorce papers two days before he attacked her.

Justice John McMahon says the case is yet another tragic instance of domestic homicide that he sees far too often.

Her mother told court at a sentencing hearing yesterday that Shamji destroyed their entire family, leaving them heartbroken and filled with rage.

“I would have died except that the children have given me a purpose to live,” Fric told Shamji’s sentencing hearing at a Toronto court. “I see my daughter in them every day, and I talk to her at her grave site.”

Fric said her daughter’s slaying has shattered the family, leaving them heartbroken and angry.

“He has destroyed all of our lives,” she said, wiping away tears. “Elana was the child that every parent could hope for.”

Court heard that the Frics both came to Canada separately from Croatia and met while working at automotive plants in Windsor, Ont. They had two daughters.

The family lived a modest life and Fric Shamji worked part-time jobs as a teenager to help with expenses, her mother said. She excelled at academics, earning two degrees at university in four years.

Her parents thought she’d become a teacher but one day, in her early 20s, Fric Shamji surprised her mother with a letter of acceptance to medical school at the University of Ottawa, court heard.

“Mom, aren’t you proud of me?” Fric recalled her daughter saying at the time.

“Of course!” Fric told her.

Her Father Joe Fric struggled to speak through tears.

“I am an old man, almost 74 years of age, so my loss will end before too long, but the loss of the children will go on for decades and decades,” he said.

He said it was difficult to put into words the sorrow and pain he’s endured since the day he had to identify his daughter’s body at the morgue.

“Going to identify my daughter will haunt me forever,” he said. “No parent should ever have to do that.”

Fric Shamji’s sister also gave a statement to the court, staring directly at Shamji.

“Elana was stolen from her family, her friends, her children, her patients, her colleagues, but most importantly her three children,” said Lekic. “The wrong life was taken.”

On the surface, the couple appeared to be happy, but court heard that Shamji physically and verbally abused his wife behind closed doors. The pair got into an argument the day she died, court heard, with, Shamji enraged that his wife wanted out of the marriage, court heard.

The Crown and defence had asked both the court to set the parole ineligibility period for Shamji at 14 years.

“Three young children have lost their mother forever,” McMahon said. “Their father has now admitted, and convicted to, killing their mother and sentenced to life in prison today.”

McMahon credited Shamji for his last-minute guilty plea, which saved his young daughter from testifying as a key witness at the trial. But he also condemned Shamji for the nature of the brutal murder at the couple’s home.

“I recognize there is no evidence of planning. A heated argument led to the killing,” McMahon said. “The nature of the violence is extreme.”