Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, a 60-year-old Jordanian-American who is the father of 12, is on trial accused in a pair of “honor killings”
The victims were Coty Beavers, the 28-year-old husband of Nesreen Irsan, and Gelareh Bagherzadeh, 30, an Iranian medical student and activist
Ali Irsan is trying to avoid the death penalty for ‘honor killing’ murder of son-in-law Beavers and his daughter’s friend, Gelareh Bagherzadeh, who helped convert his daughter to Christianity
Prosecutors say Irsan is a radical Muslim who believed his daughter’s marriage had brought shame on the family.
Irsan took the witness stand on Wednesday against his own attorney’s advice, claiming he had nothing to do with the murders
He admitted driving up to the victim’s residence several times after his daughter, Nesreen, ran away to live with her then-boyfriend Beavers
Although he also tried talking to Beavers’ twin brother as well and his mother, he did not attempt to sabotage his daughter’s marriage, Irsan claimed
His wife, Shmou Wabdeh, who is also charged with the killings is testifying against him
Irsan faces the possibility of life in prison without parole or the death penalty, if convicted of capital murder
Ali Irsan apparently had made a habit of killing Nesreen’s chosen husbands
Authorities in Montgomery County, Texas reopened the 1999 shooting death of another of his son-in-laws, Nesreen’s first husband Amjad Alidam, by Irsan
Ruled self-defense at the time, Alidam’s widow, Nesreen, later told investigators her dad staged the shooting – having lured Alidam to the family s home under false pretenses, before shooting him with a shotgun
Irsan allegedly, then fired a pistol into the wall and placed the gun near Alidam’s body to make it appear that the victim threatened and fired at Irsan first
He has not been charged in that case which is still under investigation
Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan [left] is charged with two ‘honor killings’ while wife Shmou Ali Alrawabdeh [right] who is also charged with murder, has testified against him
Under cross-examination, Irsan admitted to returning to Jordan to marry his second wife when she was just 15 before returning to the US and fathering eight children with her.
When pushed on whether he had broken the law by marrying a second woman while still betrothed to his first wife Irfan said: ‘In my country, I am allowed to have two wives.’
Shmou Ali Alrawabdeh is also charged with murder and accused of assisting in the killing of Bagherzadeh but has testified against her husband.
Ali Irsan is accused of tracking down Gelareh Bagherzadeh as she arrived at her Galleria home, in Houston, Texas in January 2012 with his son as an accomplice, before shooting and killing the medical student.
He is also accused of stalking his daughter and her husband Beavers 11 months later. He allegedly shot his son-in-law seven times in November 2012. His son Nasim Irsan, 24, is also charged with murder.
Victim: Medical student Gelareh Bagherzadeh [photo], who had been friends with Nesreen was also killed when Irsan allegedly lashed out at the infidels who converted his daughter
Irsan is charged with killing his daughter Nesreen’s ‘Christian’ husband Coty Beavers [photo], and his friend who allegedly helped convert Nesreen from Islam to Christianity
Irsan is the father of one of Bagherzadeh’s closest friends, Nesreen Irsan with whom she had studied molecular genetics at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Family and friends say Irsan, a strict Muslim, blamed Bagherzadeh for encouraging his daughter to move out of his home and marry Beavers, a Christian.
About 45 minutes after she was gunned down while turning into her parents complex in the 800 block of Augusta, state troopers stopped a silver car driven by Irsan. He was with his wife travelling from Houston back to their home in Conroe.
They were stopped for speeding and given a warning. Witnesses later told police they saw a silver car flee the scene of Bagherzadeh’s killing.
In November 2012, Beavers Irsan’s son-in-law was also found dead, shot multiple times in the third-floor apartment he shared with Irsan’s daughter. He’d told relatives and friends that if he was ever found dead, Irsan was to blame. Even after they had obtained a protective order against him, the father still showed up unannounced and harassed them in the middle of the night.
Irsan admitted that once his daughter, Nesreen, ran away to live with her then-boyfriend Beavers, he drove by their residence a number of times. He also tried talking to Beavers’ twin brother as well and his mother.
However, Irsan insisted he never slashed his son-in-law’s tires or tried to sabotage his daughter’s marriage.