PHOENIX, AZ (May 23, 2012) – After a nine-day trial and less than a day of deliberations, a Maricopa County jury has found Nadia Bashir (D.O.B. 9/26/66) guilty of negligent homicide and child abuse in connection with the 2009 drowning death of her 4 year-old mentally disabled son, Asher. She faces a sentence ranging from a term of probation to 3.75 years in prison.
“This verdict reflects that the citizens of Maricopa County expect parents to care for their children and not put them in harmful circumstances that could lead to their death, particularly when a child may have physical or mental conditions that require a high degree of caution and care,” remarked Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “I commend the hard work of our dedicated prosecutors and law enforcement partners in bringing this difficult case to a just outcome,” he added.
On August 23, 2009, Paradise Valley Police and Phoenix Fire Departments responded to a 911 call in which Nadia Bashir reported that her son Asher had fallen into the pool and had been in the water for an unknown period of time. The child was taken to Phoenix Children’s Hospital where he died three days later.
Bashir told police that she had always been cautious with her son around the pool. She stated that on the day of the drowning, Asher led her by the hand to the back door because he likes to go to the pool. She added that for the first time ever, she left him alone by the pool, noting that when she last saw him he was sitting on the corner of the pool deck closest to the house, dangling his feet in the water. She then went upstairs to help her older son, Daniel, look up back-to-school information on a computer and became preoccupied. Fifteen minutes later, she discovered Asher floating in the pool. According to investigators, Bashir did not have a clear explanation as to why she left the boy alone by the pool for an extended period of time, knowing that he cannot swim.
When interviewed by police, Daniel Bashir stated his younger brother had no fear of the pool and that he loved swimming, even though it is undisputed that Asher cannot swim. Information obtained from Asher’s school indicated that he required an adult to hold his hand at all times when going from one location to another on campus due to his motor delays and inability to follow simple directions.
On April 21, 2010, after a nearly yearlong investigation, the Grand Jurors of Maricopa County charged Nadia Bashir with one class 4 felony count of negligent homicide and one class 4 felony count of child abuse, a domestic violence offense. Bashir has no record of prior criminal offenses. She is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29th before Judge Susanna Pineda.