Tajikistan-born Mirzo Atadzhanov, 28, of Brooklyn, entered a plea of not guilty for murder and burglary charges in the May 7th death of Jeremy Safran, a professor of psychology at The New School for Social Research as well as New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis.
NY Times (h/t Marvin W) Safran was found dead in the basement of his Brooklyn home on Monday night, and officers arrested a man hiding in a closet on a murder charge, the police said.
FOX News According to court papers, Safran hired Atadzhanov to “work on his lights” in his home, even though Atadzhanov said he wasn’t an electrician. The New York Daily News reported that Safran, a Canadian, wasn’t satisfied with Atadzhanov’s work, complaining: “This country cannot benefit from immigrants.”
Atadzhanov, who claimed to be from Tajikistan, said he was offended, and their fight escalated. Atadzhanov said Safran tried to stab him with a combat knife, and he “followed his instincts,” according to court documents. Prosecutors, however, claim that Safran was working out when Atadzhanov broke into his home and attacked him.
Atadzhanov, who has a degree in biology from Brooklyn College, had been arrested in 2016 and charged with attempted rape and other felonies after a female tourist who had arranged to sleep on his couch through the website couchsurfing.com said he had assaulted her. The charges were dismissed at his arraignment, the Daily News reported.
The officers were responding to a 911 call of a burglary at the two-story home of the professor, Jeremy Safran, in the Prospect Park South neighborhood at about 6 p.m. They found Mr. Safran, 66, unconscious in the basement with severe wounds to his head and body, a bloody hammer lying nearby, the police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr. Safran was born in Calgary, Canada, and brought up in a deeply religious Jewish family.