PHOENIX – Attorneys began discussing a possible plea deal for an Iraqi immigrant accused of killing his daughter because he believed she was too Westernized, but failed to come to an agreement Wednesday.
The talks involving Faleh Hassan Almaleki, 50, lasted for hours at a closed-door meeting in Maricopa County Superior Court. His trial is set for Jan. 18.
Almaleki has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and leaving the scene of a serious injury accident.
If convicted, he could face life in prison. A plea deal could bring a lighter sentence.
Police say Almaleki slammed his Jeep into his daughter, 20-year-old Noor Almaleki, and her boyfriend's mother in October 2009.
The mother lived, but Noor was in a coma for two weeks before she died from her injuries.
The case caused outrage nationwide after prosecutors deemed it an "honor killing" because Almaleki had said his daughter dishonored his family and became too Westernized.
Faleh Almaleki moved his family from Iraq to the Phoenix suburb of Glendale in the mid-1990s. He wanted Noor to adhere to Iraqi traditions, but she wanted to be a typical American girl, according to court records and her close friends.
At 17, she refused to enter an arranged marriage in Iraq, enraging her father, according to a court document filed by prosecutors.
At 19, Noor moved into her own apartment and began working at a fast food restaurant but quit after her parents kept showing up at her work, insisting she return home, the document said.
Later in 2009, she moved in with her boyfriend and his parents, Reikan and Amal Khalaf, after saying her parents had hit her.
Faleh Almaleki regularly harassed his daughter and the Khalafs, once telling Reikan Khalaf that if his daughter didn't move out of their home, "something bad was going to happen," the document said.
On Oct. 20, 2009, Noor Almaleki spotted her father when she and Amal Khalaf visited a Department of Economic Security office.
When the two women left the office, Faleh Almaleki hit them with his Jeep before fleeing the country, prosecutors said. Law enforcement soon caught up with him in London and returned him to Phoenix.
Noor Almaleki underwent spinal surgery but died Nov. 2, 2009. Amal Khalaf survived.
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