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Texas Sentences Jordanian Immigrant To Death For Carrying Out ‘Honor Killings’


by Neetu Chandak

A Jordanian immigrant was sentenced to death Tuesday after Texas officials convicted the defendant for killing his daughter’s American husband and Iranian activist friend.

Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, 60, was found guilty in July for shooting his son-in-law Coty Beavers, 28, and his daughter’s friend Gelareh Bagherzadeh, 30, in 2012. Isran was angered that his Muslim daughter, Nesreen, converted to Christianity after marrying Beavers in 2012, at Bagherzadeh’s encouragement, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Irsan planned on killing Nesreen, but only after killing those who she cared about and those who helped her. Isran’s hit list included Beavers’ twin brother and Beavers’ mother as well, Isran’s wife Shmou Alrawabdeh said at the trials as part of a plea agreement with officials, according to the AP

“But he wanted to kill all those she loved first, so that she would suffer that much more before she died,” prosecutor Jon Stephenson said during the trials, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Isran told the jurors that while he was upset with his daughter’s decision, he was not involved with the honor killings, according to The AP.

Alrawabdeh’s son, Nasim, was also charged for capital murder after shooting Bagherzadeh in her car. He is waiting for a trial.

Nesreen said she had to get a protective order after moving out so that her family would not harass her, The AP report said.

Isran was accused of several violent and unlawful acts since immigrating to the U.S. in 1979. He allegedly raped his first wife, who was blind, and later manipulated her into marriage, the Chronicle reported.

Another allegation accused Isran of not only raping his oldest daughter after she married a man he did not like, but also killing another son-in-law, both in 1999.

A different daughter at the trial said that Isran lauded the 9/11 attacks and supposedly asked family members to serve as suicide bombers, the Chronicle reported.

Isran was sentenced to the death penalty after jurors listened to testimonies for two weeks. This was the first death penalty sentence under Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, who started in January 2017.

Attorneys representing Isran plan on appealing the verdict, according to The AP. Isran was a naturalized American citizen.

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