PHOENIX — A Phoenix jury convicted an Iraqi immigrant of second-degree murder Tuesday for running over and killing his daughter in a case termed an "honor killing" by prosecutors who said the father carried out the attack because he believed his daughter had become too Westernized.Faleh Hassan Almaleki, 50, also was convicted of aggravated assault for injuries suffered by the mother of his daughter's boyfriend during the October 2009 incident in a suburban Phoenix parking lot, and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident.
Multnomah County prosecutors told jurors during the trial that he mowed down Noor Almaleki, 20, with his Jeep Cherokee because he believed she brought dishonor to the family. He had wanted her to be a traditional Iraq woman, while she refused an arranged marriage, went to college and had a boyfriend.
The case brought nationwide outrage after prosecutors deemed it an "honor killing."
Defense lawyers called Noor's death and the severe injuries to Amal Khalaf an accident. They say he only wanted to spit on the older woman, who Almaleki thought helped his daughter stay away from her family. Khalaf had taken Noor in several times after she left home between 2007 and 2009, and that was a cause of increasing friction between the families.
A detective testified that Almaleki acknowledged under questioning by police that he intentionally ran her over. But the transcript of the taped interview showed he repeatedly called the incident an accident. Khalaf also testified during the four-week trial, saying he ignored her screams to stop before he struck her and then ran down Noor.
The defense called no witnesses. They argued for a lesser charge, saying Almaleki made a split-second decision that he should be held accountable for but that he did not intend to kill anyone.
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