Prosecutors: Hit list of witnesses found in case of family accused of killing Iranian activist



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HOUSTON — Texas investigators have uncovered a hit list in the case of a Jordanian man accused of fatally shooting a female Iranian activist, prosecutors said Friday.

The disclosure came during a court hearing for Shmou Ali Alrawabdeh, 37, who with her husband, Ali Awad Mahmoud Irsan, are charged in the 2012 death of activist Gelerah Begherzadeh. Investigators say Irsan was enraged Begherzadeh helped his daughter, who considered her a best friend, abandon his stern Islamic teachings and marry Coty Beavers, a Christian.

Prosecutors told State District Judge Jan Krocker that Alrawabdeh was in the front passenger seat of the family car on the night Irsan killed Begherzadeh, 30, as she drove toward her parents' home in January 2012. They also say Alrawabdeh overheard Irsan's harassing telephone calls to Bagherzadeh.

Irsan, 57, is charged with capital murder in the slayings of the activist and Beavers, who was found shot dead in the apartment he shared with Irsan's daughter, Nesreen Irsan, in November 2012.

Krocker asked Harris County prosecutor Tammy Thomas why witnesses against the woman were not being identified in court. Thomas cited the discovery of the list, which she said contained the names of such witnesses as homicide investigators, a federal agent and Beavers' relatives.

Prosecutors did not identify the source or authorship of the list.

Irsan's son Nasim Irsan, 21, also is charged with murder, and daughter Nadia Irsan, 30, is charged with felony stalking for allegedly tracking her sister for their father.

Ali Irsan shot and killed another son-in-law in 1999, but he said it was in self-defense and wasn't charged. Irsan, Alrawabdeh and Nadia Irsan are in federal custody awaiting sentencing in an unrelated disability fraud case.

Nasim Irsan remained in Harris County Jail on Friday with bond set at $500,000.

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