Testimony wraps up after father accused of 'honor killings' takes the stand

The father charged in the so-called “honor killings” of his daughter’s husband and friend has taken the stand in his own defense.  It became pretty heated in the courtroom at times.

Ali Irsan turned to the judge at one point when the prosecutor was cross examining him and said, “Your honor, she is attacking me. She is trying to irritate me."

On the stand, Irsan described how he thought his son was selling drugs at one point and he had a daughter that sent near nude photos to a guy at college, but he didn’t harm them.  However, the prosecutor says Irsan’s oldest daughter was sent to Jordan, where Irsan is originally from, and forced to be a slave after she married a man here in the U.S. her father didn’t approve.

Prosecutor Marie Primm says when Irsan’s 23-year-old daughter Nesreen “escaped” their Montgomery County home, married a non-Muslim, converted to Christianity -- the same religion as her new husband -- and secured a restraining order against her father, the prosecutor says Irsan stalked his daughter, her neighbors, her schoolmates and even police trying to get her to come back home because she was bringing dishonor to the family.

According to the prosecutor, Irsan conspired to kill his daughter’s husband Coty Beavers and her friend Gelareh Bagherzadeh to restore honor to his name.  An officer stopped Irsan, his wife and son, speeding less than an hour after Bagherzadeh was shot to death in 2012 near her Galleria-area home. Irsan told the officer he was having a diabetic episode, but Primm produced a doctor’s report saying Irsan is not diabetic.  

The prosecutor told Irsan he routinely lies “to get what he wants”.  She pointed out he married his first wife when she was 17 years old, had four kids with her and the prosecutor says he concocted a story of abuse against her to get her arrested after he found a new bride.  His new wife was 14 years old and he was 34.  

Primm says Irsan lied on immigration documents to get his new wife from Jordan to the U.S. and to secure a quick divorce, saying he didn’t have children with his current wife.  He went on to have eight more kids.  

On the stand, the father of twelve told jurors while his daughter did bring dishonor to the family, he says he didn’t have anything to do with the murders. He also admitted to telling his daughter Nesreen he laughs at the thought of her roasting on the devil’s stake and he hopes she will catch diseases and die a painful death.

Irsan is facing death if found guilty of the murders. Testimony in the trial has wrapped up and closing arguments are scheduled to begin tomorrow at 1 p.m.