Jordanian immigrant sentenced to death for Texas 'honor killings' of son-in-law, daughter's friend

A Texas father convicted in the 2012 murders of his son-in-law and his daughter's best friend -- in what was described in court as a set of "honor killings" -- was sentenced to death Tuesday.

Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, 60, was convicted of capital murder last month in connection with the deaths of his American son-in-law, Coty Beavers, and Iranian women's rights activist Gelareh Bagherzadeh.

Prosecutors said Irsan, a conservative Muslim who immigrated to the U.S. from Jordan, became enraged after his daughter Nesreen married Beavers and converted to Christianity. According to investigators, Bagherzadeh had encouraged Nesreen Irsan to marry Beavers.

Police said Irsan, his wife Shmou Alrawabdeh and their son, Nasim, followed Bagherzadeh to her parents' home in January 2012, and that Nasim Isran shot her in her car.

Eleven months later, the elder Irsan slipped into Beavers' unlocked apartment near Houston, waited for his daughter to leave for work, then shot his son-in-law, according to Alrawabdeh, who testified as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

TX Honor killing victims

Coty Beavers, left, and Gelareh Bagherzadeh were killed 11 months apart in 2012.  (Beavers family/Fox 26)

Alrawabdeh testified at trial that her husband tried to "clean his honor" with the killings.

Irsan portrayed himself as a devoted father who became upset after his daughter ran away from home. At trial, Irsan told jurors that he wasn't involved in the deaths. He said his daughter had caused his family pain by marrying Beavers.

Nesreen Irsan testified that she had to obtain a protective order to prevent her family from harassing her after she moved out. Alrawabdeh told jurors that her husband had also planned to kill his daughter.

Irsan, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, was sentenced to federal prison in 2015 for scamming the Social Security Administration.

Nasim Irsan is awaiting trial on a capital murder charge in the two killings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.