A Texas father accused of fatally shooting his two daughters in the back of his taxi for an “honor killing” allegedly sexually assaulted the two teenage girls years earlier and later threatened to kill their mother if she didn’t retract her complaint to the authorities.
The accusation against Yaser Said was made in the testimony of his ex-wife, Patricia Owen, in the Dallas County, Texas, courthouse during her capital murder trial.
In tears several times on the stand, Owens testified that his daughters, Sarah and Amina, told him in 1998 that their father had touched them.
After learning of the allegations, the girls’ mother went with them to the Hill County Sheriff’s Department “to make a report” before moving to another city. At that time, Amina was about 8 years old and Sarah 7.
The charges were dropped after he recanted out of fear of Said, the mother testified.
“He wanted me to go back to him and if I didn’t go back to him, he threatened to kill me and my family,” Owens said, adding that the defendant told her he wanted to kill her after she filed charges. “He Said He Wouldn’t Happen To Her.”
Later, in New Year’s 2008, prosecutors argued that Said shot his daughters in an “honor killing” outside Dallas after learning they had begun dating and he could no longer “control” them.
The girls’ homicide took place after Owens and her daughters fled Said, even successfully moving to Oklahoma before returning to Texas after the man reported them missing.
Prosecutors said that after the killings, Said was a fugitive from justice for 12 years, putting him on the FBI’s most wanted list before he was found in 2020 hiding about 40 minutes from the scene of the crime in Justin. , Texas.
Said, 64, has pleaded not guilty to capital murder for the crime his lawyers insist he was charged with being a Muslim.
Owens’ appearance marked the third day of testimony in the prosecution’s filing against Said, who they argue was “obsessed with possession and control.” That control, the girls’ mother said, included choosing where the family would live and who they would contact.
“He controlled what they did, who they talked to, who they could be friends with, if they, and with whom, they could date. And he controlled everything in his home,” prosecutor Lauren Black said in opening statements.
Although Owens left Said during their marriage, she always returned out of fear of him.
One of those times that he had to return, he declared, was in 1998 after his daughters accused him of sexual abuse. After leaving for Garland, Texas, Owens said she eventually had to file another complaint with local authorities after her husband and her brother repeatedly called her and threatened to hurt her if she didn’t obey and return to him. .
Although she dropped the charges against Garland, the woman said that in October 1998 she filed for a protective order against Said on behalf of her daughters. However, he did not comply with the order because she and her daughters “returned” to Said.
In the weeks before the killings, prosecutors argue the defendant had become “angrier” after feeling like he had lost control of his wife and daughters because they were dating non-Muslim men. The mother said that she knew that about her daughters’ boyfriends, they hid that detail from her husband for fear of her reaction.
However, it was not until December 2007 that Said put a gun to Amina’s head and threatened to kill her, so they planned to escape before Christmas, according to prosecutors.
Owens testified that on Christmas Day, after her husband left for work, she and her daughters fled to Oklahoma with their clothes “in garbage bags.” But the next day, Said reported her disappearance to the Lewisville Justice Department, forcing the woman to call a police officer to insist that she was “alive and well” but that she was afraid of her husband. she.
Sarah and Amina finally made it back to Dallas on New Year’s Eve, after receiving calls from Said and his brother. The man would leave messages that he had changed and that he would leave the house if they didn’t want him there.
The woman added that part of her decision to return to Dallas was because Amina’s high school was there so she could finish and not jeopardize her college scholarship.
The prosecution alleges that Said lured the teenage girls into his taxi, where Amina was sitting in the passenger seat and Sarah in the back.
Owens was told to “stay home” as Said drove nearby to talk to his daughters.
Police believe the girls were shot before 7:30 p.m. near the Omni Hotel. At the time, Sarah Said called 911 twice saying she was “dying” after being shot by her father.
“She is asking for help and names her killer, her father, Yaser Said,” Black said of Sarah’s 911 call.
However, Said’s lawyer said his client was attacked for his faith, and that the calls to authorities only indicated that Sarah was in an extreme moment of trauma.
Defense attorney Joel Patton also questioned Owens’ ability to answer questions, accused prosecutors of guiding her and insisted some of the woman’s accusations were false.
Said would serve an automatic life sentence if convicted of the charges against him.