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Crime & Courts

Husband of murdered Iraqi-American pleads not guilty

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.

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