Rachel King murder: 2 suspects in murder-for-hire plot of Philadelphia teacher appear in court

Two suspects in an alleged murder-for-hire plot of a Philadelphia school teacher who was gunned down while in a fast food drive-thru with her young son appeared in court Tuesday. 

Zakkee Steven Alhakim, 33, and Julie Jean, 34, face charges in the murder of 35-year-old Rachel King who was shot to death in her car with her 11-year-old son in April. 

Prosecutors say King was driving her son to violin lessons when she stopped at the Dunkin' in the Melrose Shopping Center in Cheltenham. It's believe a light-colored sedan followed King's vehicle closely then parked a short distance from the drive-thru area. 

Investigators say a gunman then walked up to King's driver's side window and unleashed a barrage of bullets that killed the young mother. Her son was physically uninjured.


Investigators believe the motive behind the cold-blooded murder was jealously. They say King's longtime boyfriend had an affair with Jean before breaking it off with her and reconciling with King.

It's alleged that Jean hired Alhakim to carry out the vicious murder. Prosecutors adding Tuesday that Alhakim "stalked" King before firing six times into her car.

"We are grateful and confident in the DA’s Office in the job they’ve done so far this morning," Allen King Jr., Rachel's father, said. "My daughter was a wonderful young woman."

Defense attorneys for Alhakim spoke briefly following Tuesday's hearing, calling the case mostly circumstantial. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, meanwhile, believes the state has evidence including surveillance footage and photos sent between the defendants of King and her address on Google Maps.

"This is so tragic," Steele said. "A young mother in the prime of her life and this was taken from her and her being taken from her young son and parents it's a tragic, tragic circumstance."