SACRAMENTO, CA - A criminal justice student was arraigned Friday for the murder of a man whose wife allegedly offered him $10,000 for the killing.
Police credit the student's instructor for bringing him to their attention.
Jake Clark shook his head when the judge read the single murder charge that led to his arrest by Sacramento police on Wednesday.
Jail booking records and the criminal complaint list Clark's age as 20, but a woman identifying herself as the mother of one of Clark's four children contacted News10 to say he is actually 30.
Clark is accused of killing Ghulam Ayobi, 53, in a staged carjacking along Interstate 80 in the early morning hours of December 18, 2011.
Ayobi, an Afghan army veteran and US military advisor, died of multiple gunshots to the head from a .32 caliber handgun.
Ayobi's wife, Shajia, was driving the couple's van and told police a man and woman were hiding in the back and tried to carjack them at gunpoint.
Shajia Ayobi told police her husband resisted the carjacking and was shot as a result.
Detectives said Ayobi later admitted that she was involved in the murder and was arrested in January 2012, but police had not identified the actual triggerman.
According to an affidavit supporting the murder charge against Clark, detectives said an instructor from Kaplan College contacted them after seeing a TV news report on Shajia Ayobi's arrest.
The instructor, Randy Fritz, recognized Ayobi as a Kaplan student.
He told detectives that Jake Clark, another student, approached him just before Christmas break 2011 to say Ayobi had offered Clark $10,000 to murder "a friend's husband."
According to the affidavit, Fritz didn't take the statement seriously until he saw Shajia Ayobi in TV.
Fritz also offers firearms instruction through his own business, Security Academy at McClellan, and taught Shajia Ayobi how to shoot one month before the murder.
Fritz declined to speak to News10 about his involvement in the case.
In two interviews with police, Clark reportedly acknowledged the murder-for-hire offer but said he declined.
On the day of the murder, police said a maintenance worker found a bag in an apartment dumpster in Natomas that contained the gun used in the killing, a bloody knife, a flashlight and batteries.
According to the affidavit, a DNA report last September linked Clark to evidence found in the bag.
By George Warren, GWarren@news10.net