Man accused of stabbing three family members to death appears in court

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UPDATE (Feb. 8) Rajab Banahi was originally charged with two counts of murder for the deaths of his mother and father.

That changed to three when his sister passed away last week. He’s accused of killing them with kitchen knives. In court, the lawyers entered not guilty pleas on his behalf. That includes three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated contempt for violating an order of protection for his father Ali.

18 months before the murders, the d-a’s office says Banahi robbed and assaulted his father at the family home in Henrietta. The sheriff’s office says he killed his mother, father and sister in the same home a month ago.

Brean: Do you have any reason to believe that he’s mentally fit to stand trial or not?
Pat Gallagher, Assistant District Attorney: Obviously through the course of the proceedings if there are any applications for any defenses commonly referred to as an insanity defense or otherwise, that’s up to the defense attorney to make those applications. We haven’t seen any at this point so I have no position on that.

We don’t see a lot of first-degree murder charges in Monroe County. The prosecutor says it’s the right charge here because Banahi is accused of killing someone while also killing someone else at the same time. Banahi is not getting out of jail. There’s no bail and no hearing to set one.

UPDATE (Jan. 31): The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said the sister of Rajab Banahi has died of her injuries. Banahi is accused of stabbing his mother, father, and his sister on Jan. 11.

His parents died that night and his sister died after weeks of hospitalization at Strong. The sister, Masuda Banahi, was 43 years old.

HENRIETTA, N.Y. — A 39-year-old man is charged with stabbing his mother and father to death in a Henrietta home on Wednesday, according to court records. A third stabbing victim is hospitalized in critical condition.

Rajab A. Banahi was charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder for the stabbing.

Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies responded around 4:45 p.m. to the home on Kathy Drive near Pinnacle Road. They say Banahi called 911 and told dispatchers that he stabbed family members. Upon arriving, deputies convinced Banahi to leave the home and detained him so they could tend to the victims.

RELATED: Henrietta double murder suspect previously convicted of multiple assaults

Two people were killed and one was critically injured on Jan. 11, 2023 in a home on Kathy Drive in Henrietta. (Photo: Stephanie Duprey/WHEC)

According to a felony complaint from Henrietta Town Court, Banahi stabbed his mother, Mostorra Banahi, and his father, Ali M. Banahi multiple times with a kitchen knife. When deputies arrived, one of the parents was found dead and the other died after receiving emergency treatment from first responders.

The court document says that Rajab Banahi also stabbed a woman with the same last name; deputies have not said how the two are related. The victim was rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital for head injuries, brain bleeding, and internal injuries from stab wounds. She underwent surgery and her injuries are still considered life-threatening.

Rajab Banahi was arraigned in Henrietta Town Court early Thursday morning and taken to Monroe County Jail without bail.

In a statement, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said:

“MCSO would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this horrific tragedy. We recognize the extraordinary efforts of the staff at the 911 center who played a significant role in the mediation of this tense situation.”

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