Thursday, April 23, 2009

Life Sentences Handed Down in Forest Hills Dentist Murder

By Conor Greene

The Forest Hills woman accused of having her husband murdered in broad daylight was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The gunman, who was paid $20,000 to carry out the murder, received the same sentence.

Mazoltuv Borukhova and her uncle by marriage, Mikhail Mallayev, were sentenced Tuesday by Justice Robert Hanophy after being convicted in March of first-degree murder and conspiracy in the shooting death of Dr. Daniel Malakov.

According to prosecutors, Borukhova, 35, paid Mallayev about $20,000 to shoot Malakov in broad daylight near Annadale Playground in October 2007. Malakov, 34, had just won custody of the couple’s five-year-old daughter, Michelle, and was dropping her off to visit her mother when he was killed.

As she had throughout the trial, Borukhova proclaimed her innocence before the judge handed down the sentence. “I have nothing to do with this murder. I didn’t kill anyone. I have nothing to do with it,” she said.

Mallayev, 51, also claimed he had nothing to do with the murder before he was sentenced. “I didn’t kill nobody in my life,” he said. “I live by the Ten Commandments… I feel comfortable with myself. I’m good in front of myself and in front of God.”

Before he sentenced Borukhova, the judge warned her of the consequences of seeking revenge. “Your husband lies in a natural grave. You are about to enter your 8-by-8 above ground cell, where you will spend the rest of your natural life,” he told her. “Your daughter is now without a father and for all practical purposes is without a mother. What a legacy to leave your daughter.”

Mallayev was linked to the crime after detectives matched a fingerprint from a homemade silencer found at the murder scene to his prints, which were on file from a previous fare-beating arrest. Prosecutors used cell phone records to prove he was in the city at the time of the murder, and say the pair exchanged 90 phone conversations in the weeks leading up to the murder.

Although she was standing just feet away from Malakov when he was shot, Borukhova told the police and jurors that she never saw the gunman or heard any shots. An eyewitness who was walking her dog at the time of the murder identified Mallayev as the gunman.

Following the sentencing, Malakov’s family said they are pleased with the outcome but expressed concern for Michelle. The girl, who witnessed the murder, has been cared for by the slain man’s uncle Gavriel Malakov, who hopes to adopt her. “As Michelle grows up she will ask a lot of questions and I will somehow have to answer those questions,” he told reporters. “I’m afraid as I’m going through feelings of excitement and joy, I may feel extremely devastated tomorrow… I feel scared for tomorrow.”

He also wondered if life could return to some semblance of normalcy for Michelle. “Will Michelle every stop having those nightmares? Will she every have those sweet dreams that a typical six-year-old has when they go to sleep at night?”

The slain man’s father, Khaika Malakov, said that the sentencing was “reasonable and right’ but added that “nobody wins in this case… Everyone lost. Everyone lost because I lost my son, Michelle lost her father....”

Both defendants were sentenced to life without parole for first-degree murder, along with an additional consecutive sentence of 8 to 25 years for second-degree conspiracy. Mallayev was received a 15 year sentence, to run concurrently, for illegal weapons possession. Attorneys for both said they plan to appeal the verdicts.

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