Oregon man pleads not guilty in murder-for-hire plot
By STEVEN DUBOIS
Of the Associated Press
PORTLAND — An Oregon man's plan to kill his business partner unraveled when a would-be hit man divulged the plot to the intended target and then police, the authorities said.
Mohndisek Habibullah, 49, of Portland pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of attempted murder and conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder. Habibullah, who was represented by a public defender at the brief arraignment, remained in the county jail on $500,000 bail.
The intended target, Mohammed Absar, told police the would-be hit man, who is named “informant” in court paperwork, approached him Sunday, according to affidavit of probable cause. Rather than go straight to the authorities, the 45-year-old owner of a southeast Portland convenience store bought a recording device and instructed the hit man to record Habibullah's intentions.
Two days later, Absar gave the recording to Det. Erik Kammerer and told him that he and Habibullah were business partners and Habibullah had been trying to sever ties during the past year.
Kammerer met with the informant, who told the detective that Habibullah had solicited him to kill Absar, but balked when he heard the asking price. Habibullah told the informant he would carry out the crime himself. However, he allegedly paid the informant $1,100 to buy a gun that would be used in the slaying and a car to dispose of the body.
Police arrested Habibullah Wednesday after obtaining a court order to record a conversation between the informant, who wore a microphone, and Habibullah.
“The defendant indicated he would shoot Mr. Absar in the ‘mind’ rather than the body, because it would leave less blood,” the affidavit states.
On Thursday, investigators searched Habibullah's vehicle and found black gloves, black pants, a black shirt and a black ski mask.
Absar is the president of Absar Inc., the business that owns the convenience store, according to a business registry database maintained by the Oregon Secretary of State's Office. Habibullah is listed as the company's secretary.
If Habibullah makes bail, Judge John A. Wittmayer ordered him to have no contact with Absar. Habibullah's next court date is June 21.