Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, a 60-year-old Jordanian American is currently facing the death penalty after being accused of a pair of honor killings. Irsan is a devout Muslim and his accused of killing his daughter’s husband, 28-year-old Coty Beavers, and her best friend, 30-year-old Gelareh Bagherzadeh, after his daughter, Nesreen Irsan converted to Christianity and married a Christian. Bagherzadeh was an Iranian medical student.
The trial now it’s in her third week and is being judged by state District Judge Jan Krocker. The prosecution consists of Jon Stephenson, Marie Primm, and Anna Emmons. Irsan is accused of tracking down Bagherzadeh as she arrived at her home in Jan 2012 shooting her. He is also accused of stalking Coty Beaver and shooting him 7 times in November of 2012. The defense team consists of Allen Tanner and Rudy Duarte (visit their website). Their defense consists of proving that these two murders are unrelated. If convicted, Irsan faces the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
It’s key for the prosecution to prove that these crimes were connected in order for capital punishment to still be on the table, which is why the defense is trying to prove htat they are not connected. Yesterday, Detective Dousay recently testified 8 key reasons as to how these crimes were connected:
- Both victims had extensive connections to Nesreen Irsan.
- Both victims helped Nesreen Irsan “escape” from her father’s control.
- An envelope found in Ali Irsan’s sport utility vehicle had the license plate numbers for cars connected to both victims.
- Both victims lived for a time at the Beaver’s family home in Spring. (Bagherzadeh never moved in but spent an extensive amount of time there with boyfriend Cory Beavers.)
- There was phone contact between Baghezadeh and Ali Irsan before her death. An outspoken young woman, she told Ali Irsan to leave Nesreen alone and told him one of his other daughters was sending nude selfies to Christian men.
- Six months after Bagherzadeh was killed in January 2012, Nesreen and Coty Beavers married. They moved to an out of the way apartment complex in northwest Harris County. Before and after the move, there was criminal mischief—air being let out of tires and cars being vandalized—at both locations.
- Before and after the move, cell phone GPS records seem to indicate Ali Irsan or other family members were stalking Nesreen and Coty at both locations.
- Finally, Dousay said his investigation, including interviews with Ali Irsan’s neighbors and family members, turned up proof that Irsan had previously threatened death for people who he believed disgraced his honor. “It was my belief that the defendant believed in honor killings,” Dousay said.