Defense claims woman killed nephew in self-defense; prosecutors call it murder

Andira Abdelaziz, 37, fatally stabbed nephew, 25, she was having affair with

SAN ANTONIOUpdated at 6:30 p.m.:

A jury deliberated for six hours Wednesday before the judge sent them home. Jurors will resume deliberations at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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Andira Abdelaziz doesn't deny plunging a knife into the back of her 25-year-old nephew, but she insists she did it to end years of mental and physical abuse.

Prosecutors said the couple had been involved in an intimate affair for three years, and when the woman's nephew, Mohammed Abdelaziz, sent her e-mails threatening to expose their relationship, she killed him.

The defense claimed the stabbing was in self-defense.

But prosecutors aren't buying her story.

"'I've been hit before and I don't want it to happen again, so I pre-emptively used self-defense,'" prosecutor Clayton Haden said during closing arguments.  "That's what they're asking you to buy into."

Haden said there was no immediate danger, although he didn't minimize the fact that the defendant had been abused, which her lawyers noted.

"He controlled her," defense attorney Lisa Rodriguez told the jury.  "He tortured her, and he physically abused her numerous times."

Defense attorney Mike McCrum said the stabbing was a classic case of domestic violence.

"We have to hold sacred the right to defend yourself," he said.

If a jury finds Andira Abdelaziz guilty, she could face a maximum punishment of life in prison.

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