EL CAJON, Calif. – A man whose wife's slaying was initially thought to be a hate crime has pleaded not guilty to her murder in California.
Kassim Alhimidi entered his plea Tuesday during a brief appearance in Superior Court in El Cajon.
Alhimidi, 48, was ordered held without bail after prosecutors told the judge he recently traveled to Iraq and should be considered a flight risk.
He is charged with murder in the death of his wife, Shaima Alawadi, last March.
Her slaying drew international attention after the couple's teenage daughter said she found a note by her mother's bludgeoned body that read: "Go back to your country, you terrorist."
Alawadi, a mother of five, left Iraq in the early 1990s after a failed Shiite uprising. She lived in Saudi Arabian refugee camps before coming to the U.S.