Hate Crime Doubted in Iraqi Woman's Killing

Shaima Alawadi's family was in turmoil, Calif. records show
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2012 8:55 AM CDT
Hate Crime Doubted in Iraqi Woman's Killing
Relatives of Shaima Alawadi gather around her body during her funeral in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, March 31, 2012.   (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

The brutal beating death of an Iraqi woman in California last month may not have been a hate crime at all, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune in a detailed look at search warrant records. Shaima Alawadi, 32, was planning to divorce husband Kassim Alhimidi and move to Texas, where her mother and siblings had moved recently. The records also show that 17-year-old daughter Fatima, who found her mother and called 911, was unhappy over an arranged marriage to a cousin. While being interviewed by police hours after the attack, someone sent Fatima a text message reading, "The detective will find out tell them (can’t) talk."

In November, records show that police found Fatima in a car with a 21-year-old man. When Alawadi picked her up, Fatima jumped from the car at 35mph after saying, "I love you, Mom." She was taken to the hospital and reportedly told staffers there about her feelings on the arranged marriage. The man involved says he and Fatima are just friends, but adds that he has been questioned and some of his clothes taken by police since Alawadi's death. Click for the Union-Tribune's full report on the multi-layered case. (More Shaima Alawadi stories.)

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