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County Jury Set to Hear Opening Statements in Trial for 2008 Murder

Man accused of fatally shooting friend has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

A jury in San Mateo County is set to hear opening statements in the trial of a man accused of fatally shooting his friend in 2008.

Teyseer Zaid Najdawi pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity in the murder of 27-year-old Millbrae resident Jack Chu after an argument, according to the District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

The two men, who are believed to have been friends for several years, had been out drinking at bars in San Francisco prior to the shooting. On July 8, 2008, shots were heard in Lincoln Circle and responding officers found broken glass and blood in the street, Millbrae police said.

Chu's body was found in a vehicle near the corner of Chula Vista and Sanchez avenues in Burlingame.

According to the district attorney's office, Najdawi shot Chu in the head several times, drove Chu to Burlingame and left him there. Najdawi allegedly fled to Redding, where he was found at a motel on July 17, 2008, district attorney's officials said.

While in custody for the murder, Najdawi allegedly attacked his cellmate in county jail. He choked his cellmate, who was in custody for minor offenses, and refused to let go when confronted by correctional officers, the district attorney's office said.

Najdawi initially chose to represent himself but has since changed his mind and is now represented by defense attorney Jonathan McDougall, Wagstaffe said.

The jury trial, which has been in recess since Dec. 14, is set to resume this morning at 9 a.m. with the presentation of opening statements and the start of the prosecution's case.

- Bay City News

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