The deceased apparently helped the daughter of the killer leave Islam and find a non-Muslim boyfriend – who was also found killed. via Texas man charged in killing of Iranian student | Mail Online. h/t BNI
A Houston-area man, originally from Jordan, has been charged in the 2012 shooting death of an Iranian student and women’s rights activist.
Spokesman Jeff McShan says a grand jury in Houston indicted 56-year-old Ali Irsan on Thursday in the January 2012, killing of 30-year-old Gelareh Bagherzadeh.
Bagherzadeh was shot to death as she talked with her boyfriend on her cellphone
Her body was discovered slumped behind the wheel of her car after crashing into the upscale Houston townhome complex where she lived with her parents.
Bagherzadeh was a molecular genetic technology student at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She was also an outspoken Iranian activist.
Friends have said she told them she was once arrested for not wearing the correct dress, and had been strictly disciplined for dating a man who was considered inappropriate.
She told them she was so sick of Islam that she converted to Christianity and was baptized at Second Baptist Church.
In the wake of Iran’s 2009 presidential elections, widely regarded as fraudulent, Bagherzadeh joined dozens of Houston Iranians in protest, even appearing on TV.
In January 2012 she was driving from the Beavers’ home in Spring when she was shot while turning into her parents’ town home
She was chatting on the phone with a friend who told police he heard her scream before her car crashed into a garage.
Police say the assailant fired several times at close range through the glass of her passenger window.
The mystery deepened 11 months later, in November 2012, when the twin brother of Bagherzadeh’s boyfriend was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds inside his apartment.
At the time, deputies would not confirm at the time whether there was a connection between the killings of Bagherzadeh and 28-year-old Coty Beavers.
Record show Beavers and Nesreen Ali Irsan applied for a marriage license in 2011.
Online jail records do not list an attorney for Irsan, of Conroe. A grand jury indicted Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan two weeks ago.
Investigators spent hours raiding several of Irsan’s rural homes and properties yesterday, where they arrested him and two others.
‘I’m sure her family wanted to find the person,’ said Fatan Kasbidi, one of Bagherzadeh’s friends. ‘I want to find peace.’
The U.S. Attorneys Office says three people are in custody on federal fraud charges.
One of those arrested sat smiling in the rear of a police car.
The police presence was significant as heavily armed officers – some in paramilitary gear – searched at least four properties around Montgomery County.
Irsan, who’s from Jordan, is charged now with her murder.
Detectives are not saying yet what links him to the killing or identifying the other two who are in custody on the federal fraud charges.
Bagherzadeh’s death shocked Houston’s close-knit Iranian community and fueled widespread speculation about whether foreign governments were to blame or if it was an honor killing.
The molecular genetics student had moved from Tehran just four years earlier and spoken out publicly against the Iranian government. Christian converts like her are often executed in Iran.
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