Killer's sanity to determine sentence in Millbrae murder 

click to enlarge Prosecutors say Teyseer “Terry” Najdawi abandoned Jack Chu’s body in a car after shooting him in 2008. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Prosecutors say Teyseer “Terry” Najdawi abandoned Jack Chu’s body in a car after shooting him in 2008.

The “inherently belligerent” man who shot his friend 11 times in the head in Millbrae after a booze-fest in San Francisco could end up in a mental hospital or a prison cell, depending on a sanity hearing today, according to prosecutors.

Teyseer “Terry” Najdawi, 28, was found guilty of first-degree murder late Tuesday in the gruesome slaying of Jack Chu, 27, in July 2008.

Najdawi, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity for the slaying of Chu, faces life in prison if he is found sane. Reports from two doctors who evaluated him will be weighed during today’s hearing.

“The doctors’ reports are finding the defendant to be sane,” Deputy District Attorney Al Serrato told The San Francisco Examiner on Wednesday. “The expectation is that the court will find him sane on those uncontradicted recommendations.”

Najdawi’s attorney, Jonathan McDougall, did not return a call for comment Wednesday.

In court, McDougall argued that his client’s paranoia drove him to shoot his friend nearly a dozen times at close range. The paranoia was why he had a semi-automatic handgun, McDougall said.

According to prosecutors, Najdawi and Chu bar-hopped in San Francisco on July 7, 2008, and ended up at the Dragon Lounge in the Parkside neighborhood. Video surveillance footage captured in the area showed Najdawi stumbling down a street and clutching to a handgun. Another clip caught him urinating in the doorway of a 24th Avenue building, prosecutors said.

Early July 8, the two men drove to a residential street in Millbrae just blocks from Chu’s family’s house in Burlingame. Najdawi opened fire on his friend while the two were sitting in Chu’s car, prosecutors said. Najdawi then abandoned the car with Chu’s body inside. The body was found two days later, prosecutors said.

Nine days after the killing, a SWAT team arrested Najdawi in a Redding motel.

Deputy District Attorney Al Giannini said the horrific murder was fueled by alcohol, Vicodin and Najdawi’s inherent tendency toward belligerence. But it was not insanity, Giannini said.

Najdawi also was convicted for attempted murder in a separate case in which he inexplicably choked a cellmate in a San Mateo County Jail to near unconsciousness before two deputies pulled him off, prosecutors said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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