Potomac Man Released in Slaying of His Mother, 54

By Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 14, 2005

Mark K. Makki, the 23-year-old Potomac man accused of killing his mother, was released from jail on bond last night after prosecutors acknowledged that a preliminary DNA test does not link him to his mother's body at the time of the crime.

It was a welcome piece of news for the Makki family, which has proclaimed the innocence of victim Shohreh Seyed-Makki's only son. Relatives learned about the test result shortly before midnight Wednesday from the suspect's defense attorney.

"It was crazy; it was like Christmas," said a member of the Makki family who was present when the family got a call and was listening through a speaker phone. "Everyone started calling everyone they knew. We broke the news to everyone."

District Court Judge Patricia L. Mitchell ordered Mark Makki released on $250,000 bond, a reversal of her decision at a hearing Tuesday. She noted the significance of the exculpatory DNA test but also told the suspect: "There still remains evidence against you."

She said he cannot leave Montgomery County except to attend his mother's funeral Saturday in Virginia.

Makki is charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the slaying of his 54-year-old mother, who was killed Oct. 6 in the family home. Investigators focused on him after hearing what they described as contradictory statements from Mark Makki and his girlfriend about his whereabouts on the day of the crime. In justifying his arrest, homicide detectives also cited an unexplained wound on Mark Makki's body, an empty envelope that had contained cash and a long-standing feud between Mark Makki and his mother over the suspect's girlfriend, Aramis Mizani.

Investigators made no mention of blood or any other type of DNA sample collected from the suspect and his belongings in the charging document filed to arrest him. But Assistant State's Attorney Deborah Armstrong cited bloody shoelaces collected from the suspect's shoes during Tuesday's bond hearing. She declined to discuss the shoelaces yesterday or to reveal specifics of the DNA tests.

The Makki family member interviewed yesterday provided The Washington Post with a detailed account of the events that led up to Mark Makki's arrest from the family's viewpoint. He asked that his name be withheld because he said he fears retaliation from law enforcement officials.

According to the relative's account, on the day she was killed, Seyed-Makki had breakfast with her husband, Khosrow S. Makki, and a mutual friend, Noralldin Rabbani. Makki, a surgeon, left the house about 9 a.m. for his Greenbelt office. The victim and Rabbani left the house through the back porch and went for a long walk. The Makkis were considering an addition to their house, and Rabbani, a construction expert, was there to discuss the details.

When the two returned to the house, the front door was wide open -- not alarming to them because the Makkis sometimes left the door unlocked. Rabbani left.

Seyed-Makki spoke on the phone for roughly 40 minutes with one of her sisters-in-law. They discussed a sore subject for Seyed-Makki: the object of his son's affection.

She then had a brief phone conversation with her husband between 12:15 and 12:30 p.m. They agreed to meet later at his office.

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