This week, the trial began against the man accused of killing his daughters back in 2008.
Yaser Abdel Said was arrested for the alleged murder of his two teenage daughters, 18-year-old Amina Said and 17-year-old Sarah Said, on New Year’s Day 2008 in Irving, Texas. Said, who is now 65 years old, was suspected of the horrific crimes immediately after they occurred, but went into hiding and eluded authorities for more than a decade.
The taxi cab driver was on the run for 12 years. Six years into the search, he was placed on the FBI‘s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List. In 2020, he was captured and arrested northwest of Dallas in the small town of Justin, Texas. Now, Yaser (pictured above, in his mugshot and walking into court this week) is finally standing trial after being charged with the tragic killings.
Testimony in the early days of the court proceedings has been shocking and upsetting, as prosecutors replay the events that led up to the horrific murders. In opening statements, prosecutors asserted Yaser allegedly shot his daughters inside his taxi cab outside a hotel in Irving after convincing them to go for a drive. Investigators claimed he told the girls they were going to a restaurant, and convinced them to enter his cab “under the guise of taking them to get something to eat.”
Instead, prosecutors argued, he drove them to a hotel in Irving and shot them in the vehicle. Sarah was shot nine times, medical examiners later determined. Amazingly, though, she was able to call 911 for help — and she named her father as the alleged assailant.
Her words to the dispatcher were profound:
“Help, my dad shot me! I’m dying, I’m dying!”
Sadly, she died before help could arrive. Her sister Amina, who was shot twice, also perished at the scene.
The girls had been students at Lewisville High School in the Dallas area when they were killed. Their father was reportedly enraged that they had begun to date boys. A week before their deaths, the girls and their mother fled to Oklahoma to escape the man’s anger. This week in court, prosecutors claimed to jurors that the girls were “very scared for their lives” after Said allegedly “put a gun to Amina’s head and threatened to kill her” before they initially fled.
Prosecutors claimed Said later told the girls he was a “changed man” and convinced them to return home. Days later, on the night they were killed, he allegedly lied to them about the restaurant outing. After the murders, Said fled. When he was discovered in 2020, his then-32-year-old son Islam Yaser-Abdel Said was arrested and charged with conspiracy to conceal a person from arrest, concealing a person from arrest, and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. In April 2021, the younger man pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Now, prosecutors are attempting to convince a jury that Yaser is guilty of the murders. The man has been charged with two counts of capital murder and one count of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. If convicted, he will face an automatic life sentence. Per MSN, he may face the death penalty, as well. He has pled not guilty.
Said’s defense attorney, Joseph Patton, used his opening statement to argue that anti-Muslim bias “steered” the course of the investigation towards the girls’ father. According to KXAS-TV, Patton said police were “too quick” to focus on Yaser as the alleged killer, and added:
“It is wrong for the government to generalize an entire culture, criminalize an entire culture, to fit their narrative, and to fit their objective. The state wants to convict Yaser for being Muslim in 2008.”
Here’s the latest on the ongoing courtroom proceedings:
What those girls went through at the end of their lives is just unimaginable. Our hearts…
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