Jury selection began on Monday, August 1 in Dallas in Yaser Said’s capital murder trial. Said, 65 is accused of killing his two teenage daughters, Sarah, 17, and Amina, 18 in 2008, allegedly because they were dating American boys. Said shot his two daughters dead in an Irving hotel.
Jurors are expected to hear harrowing testimony, including a 911 call made by Sarah just before her death. “My father shot me. I’m dying … I’m dying,” she told the dispatcher after being shot nine times, reported WFAA. Authorities said, Said was a wanted criminal on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list for several years after the killings, but he was apprehended in August 2020 in Justin, Texas, just north of Fort Worth
According to friends and family, Said was upset that his teenage daughters were dating. According to family members, the girls were victims of “honor killings” because their father believed they had brought shame to the family, reported the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “He followed them everywhere he went and recorded their every move,” said Ruth Trotter, a family friend.
Trotter, whose son Joseph dated Amina, claimed Said was abusive and obsessed with his daughters. Amina and Sarah made a police report accusing him of sexual assault when they were younger. The charges were eventually dropped. However, the police believe the girls were afraid of their father. Police believed he became jealous and obsessed because both of the girls were dating American boys. According to police, it drove him to do the unimaginable.
“I think it frustrated him and he couldn’t handle it and he killed them,” said detective Eric Curtis of the Irving Police Department. Trotter claimed that Amina told her that her father might kill her. “I knew the threat was real and told us her dad might kill them,” said Trotter.
The girls begged their mother, Patricia Owens, to leave. She took Amina, Sarah, and two friends to Oklahoma in December of 2008. However, after speaking with Said, Patricia brought the girls back home on New Year’s Eve and convinced them to have dinner with him alone. Police believe Said borrowed a taxi cab from a friend and shot his daughters there.
Sarah managed to call 911 while she was shot. “My father shot me. I’m dying… I’m dying,” she said. Amina was shot twice. Sarah had nine shots fired at her. Police searched for the girls in vain but were unable to locate them. A man who saw the girls slumped in the taxi in front of the Omni Hotel in Irving called 911 an hour after the first call.
Their father, on the other hand, had vanished. According to reports, he fled to Egypt or possibly New York. Said’s son, Islam Said, and his brother Yassein Said had been helping Said to hide for over 12 years in North Texas. In January 2021, his 32-year-old son Islam pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conceal a person from arrest, concealing a person from arrest, and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. He was eventually sentenced to ten years in federal prison.
Yassein, Said’s brother, was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2021 for conspiracy to conceal a person from arrest, concealing a person from arrest, and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. Federal agents and Irving police believed other members of Yaser Said’s family helped and communicated with him throughout the investigation.
Patricia, who is Said’s former wife told the federal authorities that members of his family expressed “little remorse for the victims” and expressed support for their killer, according to a federal criminal complaint. The criminal complaints filed against Yassein Said and Islam Said make no mention of Yaser Said’s whereabouts between January 2008 and August 2017. Nine years after the killings, federal agents said a maintenance worker at the Copper Canyon Apartments in Bedford spotted Yaser Said on August 14, 2017, in an apartment rented by Islam Said. Authorities obtained a search warrant for the apartment and executed it on Aug. 15, 2017, but they didn’t find anyone. Months later, DNA test results from the apartment revealed that Yaser Said had been there.
The trial is being held in Criminal District Court No 7 in Dallas. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty for Said; however, if convicted, he will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.