Honor killing leads to death penalty in Texas

Honor killing leads to death penalty in Texas

HOUSTON — A conservative Muslim has been sentenced to death in what prosecutors described as the honor killings of his daughter’s American husband and an Iranian women’s rights activist in Texas.

Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, a naturalized American citizen from Jordan, was found guilty of capital murder in July in the 2012 fatal shootings of his son-in-law, Coty Beavers, and his daughter’s best friend, Gelareh Bagherzadeh.

Jurors in Houston deliberated for just 35 minutes — after five weeks of testimony — before reaching the verdict, according to the Associated Press. The sentencing phase of the trial took another two weeks.

Prosecutors said the 60-year-old father became enraged after his daughter, Nesreen Irsan, married Beavers, a 28-year-old Christian, and converted to Christianity. Investigators said Bagherzadeh had encouraged the marriage.

Irsan’s wife, Shmou Alrawabdeh, testified at trial that her husband tried to “clean his honor” with the killings and also planned to kill their daughter, Nesreen, who had obtained a protective order from her family.

The couple’s son, Nasim, is awaiting trial on a capital murder charge in the two killings as well. Police say Nasim Irsan participated in the two killings and shot Bagherzadeh in her car. (TAB)