Ejaz Ahmad Murder: Where is Leah Joy Ward Now?

Image Credit: MTCTEXAS/Find a Grave

A 26-year-old Pakistani immigrant named Ejaz Ahmad, who had moved to the States chasing the American Dream, was found brutally murdered in the backyard of his home after 14 years in 2003. When his young son discovered his lifeless body, he was traumatized by the event. Meanwhile, the news of the tragedy left a deep void in the hearts of the rest of his loved ones. In the episode titled ‘Beyond Repair’ of ‘Evil Stepmothers,’ the viewers are taken through the life of Ejaz, the events surrounding his murder, and the aftermath of it, including the police investigation and the court trials.

Ejaz Ahmad Was Found Dead in His Backyard Shed

Born and raised in Pakistan’s Faisalabad, Ejaz Ahmad entered the life of his parents as a little bundle of joy on February 8, 1962. He completed his schooling and higher education in Pakistan, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in engineering. A part of his charming personality was the fact that he was a devout Muslim who stuck to his religious beliefs. In hopes of fulfilling his mother’s dying wish of moving to America, finding immense success, and having a high standard of living, the 26-year-old handsome man arrived in the United States in 1988, with his belongings and big ambitions.

Image Credit: MTCTEXAS/Find a Grave

For his master’s degree, Ejaz enrolled at the University of Memphis and went on to find success as an entrepreneur. Soon, he crossed paths with a 22-year-old lovely woman named Bonnie Marsh and they instantly fell head over heels in love with one another. In the autumn of 1988, the lovebirds tied the knot and only a year later, welcomed their son, Jordan, into the world. The extremely loving father used to call him Terik. Described as a giving person and a good friend, he began dealing with properties — purchasing houses, fixing them, and then renting them out.

A few years down the line, cracks begin to appear in the picture-perfect married life of Ejaz and Bonnie when the subject of faith and religion surfaces. In 1992, when Bonnie refuses to turn into a Muslim, the two decide to get divorced amicably and remain on good terms. After the divorce, the former couple shared the custody of Jordan as Bonnie and their son moved in with the former’s mother. In order to cope with the separation, Ejaz immersed himself in his work and by the age of 40, the self-made handsome man bought a house for himself and his family in a suburb of Memphis.

In September 2002, one of his mechanics introduced Ejaz to his 26-year-old female friend, Leah Joy Ward, a mother of two and practically homeless. The entrepreneur helped her out of the difficult situation by letting her stay at one of his rental houses. But since it was in a rather shady neighborhood, he offered her to stay at his apartment while he moved in with a friend. When she told him that she was ready to convert to the Muslim faith, he thought that he had found the one. So, he asked for her hand in marriage, and she said yes. In October 2002, they tied the knot at a local mosque in a traditional Muslim Ceremony.

Having so much to look forward to in his new life with Leah, little did Ejaz know that his days were numbered. Just a few months after the marriage, on May 1, 2003, his body was discovered by his 11-year-old son Jordan and his former mother-in-law. Horrified at the sight of the gruesome crime scene, they immediately informed the police about the murder. When the authorities rushed to the crime scene, they found the 41-year-old man’s body wrapped in plastic and hog-tied in the shed of his backyard, covered with an egg crate mattress. Moreover, his head had been cut off, and there were multiple attempts made by the killer to sever his leg. He was reportedly shot multiple times in the chest and stabbed in the neck and upper torso.

Revelation of Buried Secrets and Deceit Led to Ejaz Ahmad’s Death

From the get-go, the detectives suspected that Ejaz Ahmad’s wife, Leah Joy Ward, was responsible for the murder of her husband, as the interrogation with the victim’s loved ones led them to this conclusion. The authorities learned that Leah had many issues with Ejaz, including him staying in contact with his ex-wife, Bonnie. Throughout the course of their marriage, Leah exhibited signs of excessive jealousy, creating a public scene quite a few times because of it. On Thanksgiving 2002, Ejaz came to know that Leah was still married to Larry.

When he confronted her about the missing $1,000 in their account, she told him that she spent it on Christmas gifts for her kids. Things got more complicated when Bonnie, Ejaz’s ex-wife, followed Leah and found out that she was having an affair with another man. However, the biggest and darkest secret about Leah was still unknown to many — she had been arrested for a drug charge and prosecuted federally and was out on probation at the time. When Ejaz found out about the same, he was shocked and decided to break off the marriage, which had turned out to be a sham.

In light of all the suspicions against Leah, the detectives interrogated her. It didn’t take much time for her to break down and confess her about shooting Ejaz to death, but she claimed that she acted in self-defense after a heated argument had broken out between them. Claiming that Ejaz was abusive towards her, Leah told the investigators that she got into a state of panic after committing the murder, got rid of the murder weapon, and dismembered the body. After the confession, she was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Leah Joy Ward is Serving Her Sentence in a Tennessee Prison

More than a couple of years after Ejaz’s murder, Leah Joy Ward stood trial on November 1, 2005. Over the next few days, the prosecutors and defense argued their respective cases in front of the jury. The prosecution claimed that her claims of acting in panic were not reasonable as it all seemed premeditated, including the disposal of the gun and dismembering of the body parts. She even told Ejaz’s family and friends that he had left the country.

On November 4, the jury returned with a guilty verdict and convicted her of first-degree murder of Ejaz before sentencing her to life in prison. As of 2018, she was serving time in the Tennessee Prison for Women. Since then, she has been transferred to West Tennessee State Penitentiary at 480 Green Chapel Road in Henning, Tennessee, where she is currently incarcerated.

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