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Son of man sentenced to death for killing son-in-law and daughter's friend insists he's 'harmless'

The son of a Muslim immigrant sentenced to death for the 'honor killings' of his son-in-law and his daughter's friend has claimed his father is 'harmless' and 'wouldn't hurt a fly'.

Nader Irsan, of Texas, insists Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan is an 'innocent man', and he's determined to 'seek justice'.

Ali Irsan, who is a naturalized US citizen, was sentenced to death by a Texas jury in July 2018 for the fatal shootings of his daughter's husband Coty Beavers and her friend Gelarah Bagherzadeh in 2012. 

Prosecutors say the 61-year-old conservative Muslim became enraged after his daughter, Nesreen Irsan married Beavers, a 28-year-old Christian, and converted to Christianity.

Nader Irsan, of Texas, insists his father Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan is an 'innocent man', and he's determined to 'seek justice'

Investigators said Bagherzadeh had encouraged Nesreen to marry Beavers and Ali Irsan's wife, Shmou Alrawabdeh, testified at trial that her husband tried to 'clean his honor' with the killings.

Police said Irsan, his wife and their son, Nasim, followed Bagherzadeh to her parents' home in January 2012, and that Nasim Isran shot her in her car. 

Eleven months later, Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan slipped into Beavers' unlocked apartment near Houston, waited for his daughter to leave for work, then shot his son-in-law, according to Alrawabdeh - who testified as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. 

But Ali Irsan's other son Nader is adamant there is no way 'anyone can come to that conclusion that he's guilty'.

Ali Irsan, who is a naturalized US citizen, was sentenced to death by a Texas jury in July 2018 for the fatal shootings of his daughter's husband Coty Beavers and her friend Gelarah Bagherzadeh in 2012

Prosecutors say 61-year-old conservative Muslim Irsan became enraged after his daughter, Nesreen Irsan married Beavers (pictured together), a 28-year-old Christian, and converted to Christianity

Speaking in a new episode of the BBC Three documentary series Love and Hate Crime: Honour Killings, Nader said the idea of his father murdering someone 'contradicts his 50-plus years of living on Earth' - and argues he was a victim of prejudice as a result of his religion.

'He's a harmless guy, he doesn't hurt a fly, everyone you talk to says he's the nicest man,' Nader alleges.

'You have no tangible evidence that truly links him to any crime, but because this is a southern country where people don't take kindly, they don't like Muslims. Not because they know them and the Muslims have done something against them, just because of what the media propagates and shows 24-7. 

'They take that to say all Muslims are like that, so southerners don't like Muslims.'

Investigators said Nesreen's friend Gelarah Bagherzadeh (pictured) had encouraged Nesreen to marry Beavers and Ali Irsan's wife, Shmou Alrawabdeh, testified at trial that her husband tried to 'clean his honor' with the killings

He adds: 'They say he was controlling us, brainwashed us, this is extremism - this is all fiction, it has nothing to do with Islam at the end of the day.'

Nader reveals he is determined to prove his father's innocence, despite the death sentence looming over his head.

'He told us to stand up for what we believe in, what we think is right, for the truth even if the whole world is against you,' he explains.

'We're not gonna sit down quietly while they throw the book at an innocent man, we're going to stand up, throw our voices and protest until justice can be done.'

Nader blames a 'broken' justice system for his father's conviction, and claims that is the reason he wants to go to law school.

Nader reveals he is determined to prove his father's innocence, despite the death sentence looming over his head

'With what happened to my family, what happened to my dad, that kind of showed me, justice for all doesn't mean justice for all,' he says.

'It means justice when you look a certain way, when you practice a certain religion.

'But for other people, minorities, Muslims, African Americans, not always is justice served. This happened to me and my family and it's kind of opened my eyes to what's wrong with the system. Hopefully in my future I can try and fix the broken system.'

Nesreen Irsan (pictured) testified that she had to obtain a protective order to prevent her family from harassing her after she moved out

During the documentary it emerges that investigating officers looked further into Ali Irsan's past and discovered another dead son-in-law. 

In 1999, he shot and killed Amjad Alidam, 29, who was married to his eldest daughter Nasemah - despite him not giving his permission. Nasemah testified against her father in the double murder case.

Ali Irsan admits he killed him during the documentary, but claims it was self defense. 

'I did not kill anybody... or at least I did not kill the people that I was accused of killing,' he says, adding: '[Alidam] came into my house demanding my daughter and he threatened to kill the family.' 

Speaking about the death of Beavers, Ali Irsan insists: 'I'm not guilty, I did not kill the son of a b****. I'm not sorry that he died, but I did not kill him.'

At trial, Irsan told jurors that he wasn't involved in the deaths. He said his daughter had caused his family pain by marrying Beavers.

The daughter, Nesreen Irsan, testified that she had to obtain a protective order to prevent her family from harassing her after she moved out. She also testified that her father forbade her from dating Christians.

Alrawabdeh told jurors that her husband had also planned to kill his daughter. 

Nasemah, Alrawabdeh and Nesreen Irsan are now in hiding. A date is yet to be set for Ali Irsan's execution. 

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