NEW YORK (JTA) — A Bukharian Jewish doctor and her accomplice were found guilty of murdering the doctor’s ex-husband.
A Queens jury deliberated for six hours before finding Dr. Mazoltuv Borukhova and her cousin, Mikhail Mallayev, guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy Tuesday.
Borukhova was found to have hired Mallayev to kill her ex-husband, Daniel Malakov, who was shot dead Oct. 28 on a Queens playground. The estranged couple had recently concluded a bitter custody battle for their daughter, Michelle.
The trial had shocked and riveted the small, tight-knit community of Bukharian Jewish immigrants clustered in the New York City borough of Queens. The community, which was drawn into the media spotlight during the trial, had immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union virtually en masse in the 1990s.
Toward the trial’s end, Borukhova’s observance of Shabbat became an issue when she conceded to have violated the Sabbath in order to inquire about the purchase of a small spy camera. Her insistence on observing Shabbat during the trial, which led the presiding judge to cancel Friday sessions, also turned contentious when the judge attempted to speed things along in order not to miss his scheduled vacation.