By Philip Newman
A Long Island woman and her son have been indicted on charges of trying to influence the jury, through telephone calls to jurors and a meeting with a juror in a McDonald’s, during the son’s trial for the attempted murder of two policemen who were trying to arrest him for a home invasion, the Queens district attorney said.
As a result of the defendants’ alleged actions, the attempted murder case, tried in Queens Supreme Court, resulted in a mistrial.
Queens DA Richard Brown identified the defendants as Hina Rizvi, 46, of New Hyde Park, N.Y. and her son, Mohammad Ali, 23, of Jamaica.
The defendants were each charged in a seven-count indictment with four counts of jury tampering, two counts of criminal contempt and one count of conspiracy, Brown said. If convicted, each of them could face up to one year in jail.
Rizvi was arraigned Feb. 24 before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron and was ordered held on $5,000 bail with her next court appearance set for May 18. Ali is to be arraigned at a later date.
Brown said that according to the charges, Ali was suspected of robbing a Hicksville, L.I., residence on Jan. 3, 2014. When four Nassau County police went to Ali’s Queens apartment to arrest him, Ali allegedly attempted to run down two of the officers with his car as he tried to flee, the complaint said.
Brown said that while the son was on trial for the attempted murder of the two Nassau police officers, it is alleged that while being held at Rikers Island, he carried on telephone conversations with several jurors with the intent of influencing the outcome of his trial. His mother is also accused of telephoning several jurors for the same purpose.
Rizvi also told her son that she had discussed the trial outcome with a juror in a McDonald’s restaurant, according to the complaint.
“It is alleged that during the trial Rizvi and Ali engaged in disorderly, contemptuous or insolent behavior in an attempt to interrupt the proceedings and continued to do so even after admonitions by Justice Kenneth Holder, who declared a mistrial,” Brown said.