Saturday, November 10, 2012
The husband of an Iraqi immigrant fatally beaten in their family home has been arrested and charged in her death
The killing in March 2012 was a case of domestic violence, not a hate crime, as a note found near the body had suggested, El Cajon Police Chief Jim Redman said. Kassim Al-Himidi, 48, has been arrested on suspicion of murder after being asked to come to the police station. Al-Himidi's wife, Shaima Alawadi, 32, the mother of five children, was found bludgeoned and unconscious March 21, 2012 and died three days later. A note found by the couple's 17-year-old daughter expressed animosity toward Iraqi immigrants, including the phrase "go back to your country" and a reference to the family as "terrorists." Crime statistics showed no history of hate crimes or overt hostility toward Iraqi immigrants in El Cajon, even during the 1991 Persian Gulf War or the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. During an intense seven-month investigation, police refrained from calling the beating a hate crime, citing other unspecified evidence. Court records show Alawadi planned to divorce her husband and move to Texas to be with relatives.