Upset that his 20-year-old had become too "Westernized," an Iraqi immigrant ran her over in a Phoenix parking lot in 2009, killing the woman, eyewitnesses testified on Tuesday.
Charles Cooper, who says he witnessed the incident, recalled hearing the car engine rev, and then watching an SUV plow into two women walking across the parking lot.
“I could see the lady on the ground,” said Cooper, according to MyFoxPhoenix.com.
Police identified the driver as Faleh Almaleki, 50, who is accused of killing his daughter, Noor Almaleki, 20. The other woman who was hit was identified as the mother of Noor Almaleki's boyfriend. She survived the incident.
Shaneil Nakamoto said she saw the woman face down on gravel and noticed another woman crying and moaning.
Noor Almaleki’s legs and arms were mangled and she was unconscious, MyFoxPhoenix.com reported the woman testifying.
“I pushed the hair out of her face and held her hand,” Nakamoto told the court.
The defense has previously argued that Faleh Almaleki had no intention of killing his daughter. His intention was to spit out the window at the other woman and miscalculated.
The case, however, has attracted media attention because prosecutors labeled the woman’s death an “honor killing.”
The practice has different interpretations, but its victims are predominately women that men believe acted immorally. These killings are largely practiced in Muslim countries.
Court documents paint Noor Almaleki as an independent woman who refused to enter an Iraqi marriage as a teenager — a decision that angered her father, according to papers viewed by the Associated Press.
Apparently determined to make it on her own, she moved into her own apartment at 19 and paid bills by working at a fast-food restaurant, a job she had to quit because her parents would frequently interrupt her. Later in 2009, she moved in with her boyfriend and his parents.
The court document said Faleh Almaleki regularly harassed his daughter and warned her that "something bad was going to happen," if she didn’t move out of the home.
Almaleki allegedly sped off after the crash and left the country. He was arrested in London and brought back to Arizona to face charges.
The Associated Press and MyFoxPhoenix.com contributed to this report.
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