Dr. Gulam Moonda was shot dead in a lay-by on the Ohio Turnpike near Cleveland in May 2005. The crime initially looked like a random roadside robbery, but it turned out to be the result of murderous plot hatched by his wife and her lover.
Dr. Moonda and his wife Donna, along with Donna’s mother, were en-route to Toledo when they pulled over to switch drivers. A van followed them and a man got out, he pointed a gun at Gulam Moonda and robbed him of his wallet, he then shot him in the face. That man later turned out to be Damien Bradford, he was Donna’s lover and he had just murdered the doctor at her behest.
Gulam and Moonda’s marriage had seemed idyllic from the outside, she was the all-American girl, 23 years his junior; he was an Indian migrant who had realized the American dream and became a successful and well respected doctor in the community.
Gulam had showered Donna with lavish gifts from the very beginning, and the two were used to having expensive tastes. Friends had never noticed any signs of marital strife.
Donna’s friends did notice a change in her when her father died in 1998, (they had been extremely close), Donna began to withdraw from her friends. She suffered from back pain and kidney stones, as a result of this and depression she became addicted to painkillers.
In 2004 she was arrested for stealing drugs from the hospital where she worked as a nurse. A court ordered her to attend rehab, and it was there that she met and fell in love with Damien Bradford, 22 years her junior, he was already a convicted drug dealer.
The pair knew that Gulam’s estate was worth $2 -3 million, and Donna was already due $250,000 from a pre-nupital arrangement. They decided to kill him and take his money.
It was parole officer Chris Sotter who alerted police to the extra-marital affair. Police then spent 10 months building up evidence against Bradford, which included tracking data from cellphones, when they had enough to charge him with the murder of Moonda they offered him a deal.
Bradford, facing a death penalty, agreed to admit that he was just the trigger man, and that the whole murder was in fact planned by Donna. Bradford was sentenced to 17 and a half years for his role.
Donna Moonda was given a life sentence for murder, she still professes her innocence, however, all appeals have so far been rejected.
Highway to Hells airs 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.
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