Shelter: Dad accused of killing kids made threats
HOUSTON Police say Mohammad Goher was afraid of losing custody of the children to his ex-wife, but we're learning more about their split and the unusual demands he made to spend time with his children. It's such a devastatingly sad story in any way you look at it. Goher is still being treated for a gunshot wound at an area hospital, but he has been charged with capital murder in connection the slaying of his three children. He has a court appearance scheduled on Tuesday, but on Monday, a lot of people who knew about the divorce between him and his ex-wife say this was something they didn't quite expect. A teddy bear and a few burnt out candles marked the place where three children lost their lives. Attorney Sandra Peake remembers meeting them. "They were just as cute as they could be, and very loving and affectionate towards their mom," Peake said. Peake represents Norma Goher, the mother of 14-year-old Saeedah, 12-year-old Saeed, 7-year-old Aisha. Their birth certificates show the kids were born in America, but Goher, their father, sent them to Pakistan for two years until, family members say, Norma Goher managed to get them returned to Houston this past February. "She was extremely attached. She was very determined to get the kids back from Pakistan and bring them here so she could raise them," Peake said. But this past Sunday, the unthinkable happened. Goher is now accused of killing his three kids during a court-ordered visitation. "Apparently, someone told him last week that the children would be taken away from him," said Syed Izfar. Izfar is the attorney who was representing the interests of the children as their parents divorced. "No one knew this was coming," he said. "This was a bolt out of the blue." Prior to that visit, Goher had reached out to local Pakistani radio host Manzoor Memon and was willing to go on the radio to talk about his case. "Our plan was to put him on radio talk show on Sunday at 12 o'clock," Memon said. "And I called him around 11 o'clock to confirm that he will be on the radio, and he didn't pick up the phone and this thing had had already happened." Norma Goher has been living in a women's shelter for more than a year. She had a restraining order against her ex-husband, who was also arrested in 2006 for beating her. So why did the children visit every weekend? The women running the shelter An-Nisa Shelter offers some insight. "Many times, he threatened the children, 'If you don't come back to me, I will kill you. I will kill myself. I will kill myself,'" one of them told us. "They cared about their father." In fact, the women who run the shelter say the kids often had reservations about visiting their father, but because they loved him and wanted to see him alive and well, they'd often go visit him when he made threats. Despite these alleged threats, Child Protective Services says not one single complaint had been filed in connection to the alleged mistreatment of the children prior to their deaths. The only records of abuse are between the mother and the father. Late Monday night, strangers mourned for the three children during a vigil. Kneeling in prayer before freshly lit candles, they also pray most for the mother of the victims.