Father on trial for so-called 'honor killing' of son-in-law and another woman

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Jordanian immigrant trial started today for the so-called honor killing of his son-in-law and a local Iranian activist, in murders that happened nearly a year apart.

Prosecutor Jon Stephenson painted Ali Irsan as a man who wanted blood.

In a passionate opening statement, Stephenson said when Irsan lost control over his daughter's actions he turned violent. He enlisted his family's help to stalk her, her husband, and her close friend before carrying out the murders.

"He had a list of those who he wanted to kill," said Stephenson. "He wanted to kill all of those involved in bringing shame and dishonor, in his mind, to his family."

Defense attorney Allen Tanner said at the end of the trial no one will know who really killed Coty Beavers and Gelareh Bagherzadeh.

He said the daughter can't be trusted. She was full of hate for her father. Tanner argued Irsan did not murder the two people. It's not a case of "honor killings."

"She (Irsan's daughter) is going to tell you she was kidnapped, handcuffed and beaten," said Tanner. "I don't believe them. It's up to you to decide if you really believe her."

This all started back in 2012. Two people were killed 10 months apart and prosecutors say Ali Irsan is to blame.

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The first victim was Gelareh Bagherzadeh. She was an Iranian activist and close friend of the suspect's daughter.

She allegedly shielded the suspect's daughter after the woman married a Christian man here in Houston.

The next to die was Coty Beavers, the man who married the suspect's daughter. Ali Irsan apparently saw the marriage an act of defiance and a stain against his honor.

Prosecutors say Irsan orchestrated the killing of Bagherzadeh, who was allegedly gunned down by Irsan, his wife and his son.

Then it is alleged Ali Irsan took the life of Coty Beavers.

The investigation into these two deaths would eventually land Irsan, his son, his wife and his other daughter behind bars for their roles in the murders.

Ali Irsan has been serving time in federal prison for charges involving theft of disability benefits.

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