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Case of Iranian activist killed in Houston set for trial

HOUSTON (AP) - A Jordanian-born man accused in a pair of deaths that authorities describe as honor killings is claiming in the lead-up to his trial that court-appointed prosecutors have financial incentives to seek the death penalty.

The Houston Chronicle reports that defense attorneys are seeking to remove pro tem prosecutors from the high-profile Houston case before Ali Irsan stands trial later this month.

Irsan is facing a capital murder charge in the 2012 shooting death of an Iranian activist, 30-year-old Gelareh Bagherzadeh. Prosecutors also allege that Irsan also played a role in death of his son-in-law, 28-year-old Coty Beavers, 11 months later.

Authorities have said both slayings were driven by Irsan's ire over his daughter marrying Beavers, a Christian.

Irsan's wife, Shmou Ali Alrawabdeh, and his son, Nasim Irsan, also face charges in the case.

Information from: Houston Chronicle,

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