A Jordanian immigrant who is charged with organizing the “honor killing” of his daughter’s husband and a friend made a shocking appearance in court Tuesday, calling prosecutors “evil” and “devils” as he was led away.
Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, 60, is charged with murdering his own son-in-law, Coty Beavers, along with his daughter’s friend, Gelareh Bagherzadeh. This allegedly took place after his daughter, Nesreen, decided to follow Jesus.
“Those prosecutors are devils,” Irsan told a bailiff in a loud voice. “They want my life. I need to defend myself. The prosecutors are evil.” The 2012 slayings took place 11 months apart, with prosecutors arguing that Irsan was connected to both crimes.
“This is one man and one family’s extremist views that were taken to the extreme and led to the deaths of two innocent people,” Prosecutor Jon Stephenson said during opening statements, as reported by Click2Houston.
After testimony had concluded on Tuesday, a Harris County Sheriff’s bailiff told the judge that four jurors felt extremely threatened by Irsan as he sat and stared at the prosecutor. According to the Houston Chronicle, the accused also purported to make “a hand gesture as though he was snapping a bundle of pencils.”
“She had never seen that look of nastiness and was scared,” the bailiff told the judge, recalling one of the juror’s words.
The court proceedings were extraordinary, not least because of Irsan’s 22-year-old son stating that his father could not possibly have committed the killings as his dad was allegedly driving him to the pharmacy at the time of the deaths. The son, Niles Irsan, said he was going through opioid withdrawal at the time.
In a strange twist, the family were reportedly stopped by a state trooper for speeding on I-45.
“I just remember the flashlight,” Niles said of the night in question.
When the family were pulled over in Montgomery County, Irsan complained that he was diabetic and that his blood sugar was dangerously low. The trooper subsequently let them go. “We were just going to the pharmacy to get advice on how to help me,” Niles added, insisting that his father had nothing to do with the killing.
However, another of the son’s, Nader, said his other brother, Nasim, had confessed to shooting Beavers.
“He admitted that he killed, and I quote, ‘the Beavers guy,’” Nader Irsan told the jury. “I told him to stop talking.”
The defense team is keen to pin the blame on Irsan’s wife, Shmou Alrawabdeh, for the murder of Beavers and Bagherzadeh. In one of the latest astonishing turns, Alrawabdeh last week testified that she was with her husband and son when they committed both shootings back in 2012.
Bizarrely, Nader Irsan, 20, Nadim Irsan, 18, and Niles Irsan, 22, all sought to paint their sister Nasreen as a brutal disciplinarian who would routinely torture her brothers as they grew up.
“I had vinegar injected into my femoral artery,” said Niles Irsan, adding that she “tried to inject air, an air bubble, into my arteries to form an embolism.”
“I had gas poured on me and was set on fire. My nose was broken. I was tied up and beaten. I was stabbed a few times,” he added.
According to the Daily Mail, Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan was also questioned about having illegally married a second woman while he was still legally bound to his first wife. “In my country, I am allowed to have two wives,” he said.
Closing arguments are expected to take place today.