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'Dateline NBC' features case of Conroe father sentenced to death in honor killings

HOUSTON – A two-hour special edition on "Dateline NBC" featured the case of a father from the Houston area who was sentenced to death after killing his daughter's husband and his daughter's best friend.

It's a case Channel 2 Investigates has been tracking for a half-decade.

Prosecutors described it as an honor killing and a family affair.

Prosecutors said, a 60-year-old conservative Muslim, Ali Irsan, became enraged after his daughter, Nesreen Irsan, married Coty Beavers, a 28-year-old Christian, and converted to Christianity. 

Investigators said the best friend of Nesreen, Gelareh Bagherzadeh, had introduced her to Beavers.

Ali Irsan, his son, one of his daughters and his wife, Shmou Alrawabdeh, 40, were all arrested in connection with the plot. Alrawabdeh testified against Ali Irsan. In exchange for her testimony, she pleaded guilty to aggravated kidnapping and was sentenced to time served.

Josh Mankiewicz interviewed Ali Irsan from behind bars.

Interview: Ali Irsan From Behind Bars  (source: Ali Irsan for KPRC)

Irsan: And the law enforcement and the government and the United States -- they bullied, blackmailed and intimidated every person that put me here.

Mankiewicz: You think everybody who--

Irsan: So--

Mankiewicz: (blank) testified against you did so because they were intimidated?

Irsan: Three of them, that were the main thing. They were intimidated, yes.

Mankiewicz: So your wife, your nephew, your daughter, who all testified against you, you think that only happened because they were intimidated?

Irsan: Yes. They were forced. If-- if you don't do it, we're gonna get you. (SIGH)

Mankiewicz: And you think this is Islam on trial, not--

Irsan: Yeah.

Mankiewicz: You?

Irsan: Yes. It is Islam, because my daughter claimed to them that because she turned Christian that I'm gonna come after her.

Mankiewicz: Nesreen wanted you to leave her alone. And if you had left her alone, you probably wouldn't be in here.

Irsan: If the police did not use the  KGB tactic, I would not be here.

Ali Irsan sentenced to death for 2012 honor killings.

Over the summer Ali Irsan's son, Nasim Irsan, who was charged in connection with Bagherzadeh's death, went before a judge. 

Nasim Irsan pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. In exchange his capital murder charge was dismissed.

Son charged with murder in connection with honor killing pleads guilty.

The daughter, Nadia Irsan, is also accused of stalking her sister.
Currently, her next court setting is scheduled for 2020. She has not yet faced trial.

Daughter charged in 'honor killings' appears in Houston courtroom.