Prosecutors dropped the charges last week against a Potomac man who was accused of murdering his mother in their Potomac home.
Shohreh Zahra Seyed-Makki, 54, was found dead in her home in the 9500 block of Newbridge Drive at around 6:30 p.m., Oct. 6.
Police labeled the death a homicide and arrested Seyed-Makki’s son Mark Makki, 23, Oct. 9 and charged him with robbery and first-degree murder. Makki was initially held without bond, then later released on $250,000 bond because of results of DNA testing.
Days before Makki’s scheduled Nov. 4 preliminary hearing, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Montgomery County dropped the charges, saying there was insufficient evidence for an indictment.
“The investigation has not developed sufficient evidence to seek an indictment by the grand jury or to continue the charges against Mr. Makki. Accordingly, the charges against him were dismissed at this time,” said State’s Attorney’s Office Spokesman John McLane, reading from a prepared statement.
McLane called the preliminary hearing a “control date by which time the case must be presented to the grand jury” and said that the police investigation is ongoing.
The office declined to comment on the matter beyond the official statement.
“WHEN THAT STATEMENT of charges was written up, we thought we had enough probable cause and obviously a judge did too,” said Lt. Eric Burnett, a spokesman for Montgomery County Police.
The police said that Makki and his mother had argued repeatedly over several years about his relationship with his girlfriend — a possible motive — and stated in charging documents filed in Montgomery County District Court that Makki was arrested following multiple interviews that revealed "inconsistencies" in his story.
Friends of the Makki family and people familiar with Mark Makki maintained from the beginning that Makki and his mother were extremely close in spite of the dispute over his girlfriend and that Makki could never commit murder.
Makki’s arrest spurned arguments in local blogs and message boards, mostly between posters who said the police case was credible and those who said Makki could not have committed the crime, many claiming to be friends or family.
“I can’t speak for the family. I’ve heard they’ve been upset. I don’t know that personally. But on the flip side they’ve been cooperating,” Burnett said.
IN PRINCIPLE, Burnett said, charges could be reinstated, but he would not specifically comment on whether Makki is still considered a suspect.
“We are still looking at everybody as a possible suspect,” he said. “We’re following all possible leads.”
The police will not comment on evidence while the investigation is continuing. Among the biggest questions left unanswered is whether there were signs of forced entry to the house where the murder occurred.
The only thing certain is that unless he or she was arrested for a different crime, the murderer remains at large.
“Montgomery County is a safe county,” Burnett said.
Asked about the likelihood of new evidence coming to light weeks after the crime, he said, “We’ve had homicides where we arrest people the next day. We’ve had homicides where we’ve arrested people a month later. … It’s barely been a month.”