A Muslim immigrant has been sentenced to death by a court in Texas for killing his Christian son-in-law and another woman after his daughter converted to Christianity.
The sentencing of Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, a Muslim immigrant from Jordan, was held on Tuesday.
Irsan reportedly became enraged in 2012 after his Muslim daughter decided to convert to Christianity and marry Coty Beavers, who became his son-in-law.
He was found guilty in July of not only fatally shooting Beavers, but also Gelareh Bagherzadeh, his daughter's best friend whom he believed had encouraged her to convert to Christianity.
Prosecutors argued that the man became "enraged" at his daughter's conversion, though he attempted to portray himself as a devoted father who was upset that his daughter ran away from home. Irsan also insisted that he was not involved in the deaths.
Shmou Alrawabdeh, Irsan's wife, testified that her husband carried out the killings in an attempt to "clean his honor" for his daughter's conversion.
She detailed how Irsan made his way inside Beavers' unlocked apartment near Houston where he waited for his daughter to leave for work and then shot his son-in-law to death.
Bagherzadeh was killed in January 2012 as she was driving in her car toward her parents' home.
Alrawabdeh claimed that her husband had also been planning to kill their daughter, Nesreen Irsan.
The lengthy seven-week trial included details about rapes, drugging, beatings and a previous homicide, The Houston Chronicle reports.
Beavers' mother gave a victim impact statement while she was on the witness stand.
"On November 12, 2012, Ali Irsan and his family destroyed life as we knew it forever," said Shirley McCormick. "That was the day they ambushed and murdered Coty, to restore honor to someone who never had any."
At the end, District Judge Jan Krocker sided with the jurors, telling them not to "second guess" themselves.
"You listened attentively to every detail. It was the right verdict," Krocker said.
When the verdict was announced, families of the victims cried and hugged each other, celebrating what they also said was the right sentence.
Cory Beavers, the murdered Christian's twin brother, said that the other suspects in the case, namely Irsan's adult son, Nasim, and his adult daughter, Nadia, also need to face justice for their alleged role in the killings.
"Honor violence typically involves participation of multiple family members," said Cory Beavers. "We will continue to pray that everyone culpable in these murders are brought to justice."
Kathy Soltani, a family friend of Bagherzedeh's parents, spoke on their behalf.
"By taking Gelareh away from us, they took away a true human being who would have helped anyone in any way that crossed her path throughout her life," Soltani said.
"They took something good from our society."
Allan Tanner, the lead defense attorney, said that the verdict against Irsan will be appealed.
"We will just leave it in God's hands," Tanner vowed.