Taher Toom

A Hammond man pleaded guilty this week to manslaughter and his son-in-law who lives in Baton Rouge was indicted on a murder count in the slaying of a relative in Sherwood Forest following an alleged advance toward the younger man's wife.

Taher Toom, 56, who was indicted in 2018 on a second-degree murder charge in the fatal December 2017 shooting of his cousin and brother-in-law, Zakaria Toom, pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter in return for a future 20-year prison term.

Taher Toom's son-in-law, Feras Darsaad, 29, was indicted Wednesday on a second-degree murder count in the killing of Zakaria Toom, 50, his uncle.

East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings said Toom's 20-year sentence is contingent on him testifying truthfully in Darsaad's case.

Zakaria Toom was slain at Darsaad's home on Parnell Drive in Sherwood Forest.

A factual basis read into the court record this week laid out the following scenario:

Darsaad and his wife Reham ate dinner at the home of Reham’s parents, Taher and Mirvant Toom, the evening of Dec. 2, 2017. After Darsaad and his wife left to return to their home in Baton Rouge, Taher Toom received a text message from Feras Darsaad indicating he wanted Taher Toom to bring his gun because he wanted to kill his uncle.

Taher Toom called Feras Darsaad and told him to return to his residence. When he returned Taher Toom learned that Reham Darsaad alleged that Zakaria Toom had made advances toward her.

Taher Toom and Feras Darsaad then formulated a plan that Darsaad would call Zakaria Toom and lure him to his home in the 12000 block of Parnell Street so that Taher Toom and Darsaad could confront him. Taher Toom brought his 9mm assault rifle and he and Darsaad left Hammond and drove to Baton Rouge.

Taher Toom's wife objected to them taking the gun to the confrontation and when Taher Toom refused to leave it behind, Mirvant Toom insisted on going with them while Reham remained at the Toom residence in Hammond.

Darsaad called Zakaria and talked him into coming to the Parnell Street residence under the false pretense that he was going to repay Zakaria money he owed him. Darsaad purposefully withheld that Taher was with him for fear that Zakaria would not appear due to the bad blood between he and Taher.

When Taher Toom entered the residence with the gun, Zakaria Toom reacted and as Taher Toom approached him, reached for the gun. Darsaad was behind Zakaria Toom and tried to pull him down to sit on the sofa. Taher Toom then hit Zakaria Toom in the head with the gun and as the two struggled, Taher Toom shot the victim multiple times.

A search warrant was obtained for Taher Toom's residence and police found the assault rifle. A State Police firearm examiner determined it was the same weapon used to kill Zakaria Toom.

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