The former wife of a man accused of murdering their daughters in a suspected honor killing described her ex-husband as the devil and said he abused her and the girls for 15 years, KXAS-TV reports.
“That devil there,” Patricia Owens said Thursday in court when asked to identify her former husband, Yaser Said, according to the television station.
Said is on trial for killing the pair’s two daughters, 18-year-old Amina and 17-year-old Sarah, on New Year’s Day in 2008 after they told their father they were planning to eat at a restaurant.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, it is believed that Said, who is from Egypt, took his daughters’ lives as part of an “honor killing” in which a family member is put to death because they are seen as shameful. Said reportedly was dismayed that his daughters were becoming too Americanized, in part because their boyfriends were not Muslim.
Owens told the court on Thursday that she married Said when she was 15 years old in 1987 – he was 29 – and birthed their three children within the next three years.
Eleven years later, in 1998, Owens alleged that Said was sexually abusing the girls and she went to police. She left Said and took all three kids with her before returning to the family home near Waco, tragically telling the girls to recant their allegations.
But Owens and the girls left again in 2007 and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Living with their father, they said, made them afraid for their lives.
As is so often the case in abusive relationships, Owens and the girls went back to Texas again to live with Said because they were afraid there would be “repercussions” if they did not, the television station reports.
Since the first allegations arose in 1998, friends of Amina and Sarah noticed bruises on their bodies and saw Said be physically violent toward his children and wife.
The girls also told friends that their dad controlled them and they were afraid he was monitoring their every move.
In presenting chilling evidence about the day of the murders, prosecutors showed the court clothing the girls were wearing when they were shot by their father — clothing that had bullet holes riddled throughout.
A 911 call from Sarah was also played.
“Help, my dad shot me! I’m dying,” Sarah said in the heartbreaking audio recording before losing consciousness.
The girls were later found dead in their father’s vehicle outside the Omni Mandalay hotel in Irving, Texas. Said vanished and was a fugitive for six years before authorities located him hiding 30 miles away with his son and brother.
Owens divorced Said in 2009 and never spoke with him following the girls’ killings. She was afraid he would come after her, too.
The trial continues. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Sarah Yaser Said and Amina Yaser Said/Handout]
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Author: Jonathan Anderson, Journalist
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