Ladera Ranch's Sarwat Syed went to court Monday morning, but her appearance had nothing to do with the crimes tied to her late son, who is alleged to have killed three people and terrorized Orange County freeway drivers before taking his own life last Tuesday.
Yet, because of the notoriety of her son's case, Mrs. Syed was obviously prepared to deal with the Weekly's probing camera at the Orange County courthouse in Santa Ana.
Here she is shrouded in black as two young males, one of whom is believed to be another son, flank her:
Trust us, she's there being led into courtroom:
After her pretrial hearing, she was led to the parking lot, and a black Mercedes whisked her away:
Sarwat Syed -- who, with her husband, Irfan, owns the home at 5 Red Leaf Lane where 20-year-old Courtney Aoki's body was found shot multiple times early Tuesday -- is accused of felony hit-and-run and sentencing enhancements for severe injuries to a little girl in a June 2011 accident in Irvine.
Ava O'Connor was 4 when she was being driven back from Pretend City by a friend's mother, whose vehicle was rammed by the Syeds' GMC Yukon Denali, which fled the accident scene along the 405 freeway near Laguna Canyon Road.
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Syed was arrested after the Denali's license plate was linked to an insurance claim filed a day after the crash. Ava underwent a nine-hour operation to repair her jaw, upper palate, eye sockets and nose. She later recovered at home with a feeding tube, a tracheotomy and 10 plates in her head.
Ali Syed, 20, drove off in a family Denali after gunshots were heard early last Tuesday. He is believed to have killed two more people with his shotgun in Tustin and Santa Ana before turning the weapon on himself in Villa Park.
Sarwat Syed was accompanied in court by her attorney, Vincent J. LaBarbera Jr., who told reporters afterward his client and her husband are also victims of the senseless violence and that they are still trying to sort out what happened. The parents described Ali as "gentle" and "nonviolent," and they are "absolutely stunned," the lawyer said.