Iraqi convicted of murder in Ariz. "honor killing"

Noor Almaleki (CBS/KPHO/Personal Photo)
Guilty verdict in AZ "honor killing" case
Noor Almaleki
CBS/KPHO/Personal Photo

(CBS/AP) PHOENIX - Jurors on Tuesday found 50-year-old Iraqi immigrant Faleh Almaleki guilty of second-degree murder for running over and killing his 20-year-old daughter.

Prosecutors told jurors during the trial that Almaleki mowed down his daughter his Jeep Cherokee because she had brought the family dishonor by becoming too Westernized. Alamaleki's Jeep also hit and seriously injured the mother of his daughter's boyfriend.

Defense lawyers called Noor Almaleki's death and Amal Khalaf's injury an accident. They say Faleh Almaleki was only trying to spit on the older woman.

The defense called no witnesses. They argued for a lesser charge, saying Almaleki made a split-second decision that he should be held accountable for but that he did not intend to kill anyone.

Almaleki was also convicted of aggravated assault for the injuries suffered by the older woman.

Peoria, Ariz. detective Christopher Boughey testified that Faleh Almaleki confessed to him during a lengthy interrogation that he did in fact intend to cause his daughter's death.

Prosecutor Laura Reckart played a recording in which Boughey and another detective confronted Almaleki with their suspicions that he ran over Noor Almaleki because she had become too westernized and brought disrespect to the family.

The incident happened on Oct. 20, 2009, outside a state Department of Economic Security office in the west Phoenix suburb of Peoria.

Noor Almaleki's story set off a firestorm of "honor killing" outrage at the time and raised awareness of the rare practice within the United States.