Jury deliberates on life or death for Jordanian immigrant

HOUSTON (AP) — A jury in Texas has begun deliberating whether a Jordanian immigrant convicted in what prosecutors describe as two “honor killings” will receive a death sentence or life in prison without parole.

The Harris County jury began deliberations Monday in the penalty phase of Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan’s capital murder trial. Deliberations are to continue Tuesday.

Irsan was convicted last month in the deaths of his son-in-law and his daughter’s friend. Prosecutors say the conservative Muslim became enraged when his daughter left home to marry a Christian and convert to Christianity, so he orchestrated the killings. The daughter’s friend, Gelareh Bagherzadeh, died in January 2012. And the son-in-law, Coty Beavers, died in November 2012.

Irsan testified that his daughter aggrieved his family after eloping with Beavers, and that Bagherzadeh had encouraged the union.

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