Irsan sentenced to death in honor killing murders

Miya Shay Image
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Ali Irsan sentenced to death for the 'honor killings' of his son-in-law and daughter's close friend.
Ali Irsan sentenced to death for the 'honor killings' of his son-in-law and daughter's close friend.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After six weeks of gut-wrenching testimony and six years of waiting, two Texas families say they finally have justice. Ali Irsan has been sentenced to death for the murder of his son in law and his daughter's friend.

Irsan will now be sent to death row, the first person in Harris County to be sentenced to death in four years. He is convicted of killing his son-in-law, Coty Beavers, and his daughter's close friend, Gelareh Bagherzadeh.

The trial was called the honor killings because Irsan felt he was dishonored after his daughter married a Christian man. Prosecutors say that was the motive behind the two murders.

Prosecutors and family of Gelareh Bagherzadeh talk to the media about the death sentence verdict.

After the death sentence was handed down, Coty Beaver's mom, Shirley McCormick, read a statement in court and shared with us what she said. She wants the world to know that honor killings have no place, anywhere, "In America, everyone is free including the women, they can choose their own careers, I said to be prosecutors or judges, and they can choose their own spouses, and they have a right not to be treated as property of their husbands, fathers, and brothers."

Timeline of Ali Irsan honor killings case

TIMELINE: Houston 'honor killings

McCormick said she was happy that Irsan will be on death row, "I think that we feel safer now, knowing that he's going to be on death row and he won't have as much access to cause further harm and damage to families or anyone else he did not like."

The family and friends of Irsan's other victim, Gelareh Bagherzadeh had similar feelings of relief, "We came because we were in pursuit of happiness and freedom of speech and democracy, so did Gelareh, she gave her life fighting for her friend, Nasreen, she believed in helping people, and Ali Irsan obviously did not, but at the end of the day, this moment is what we all were waiting for, democracy at its best, we are very appreciative of the judicial system in this country and we can't be happier, said family friend Kathy Soltani.

The attorney for Irsan, Allen Tanner, said they plan to appeal, "We're very disappointed by the verdict and the sentencing, and the case will go on appeal now, and we'll what happens."

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