Testimony was scheduled to start Tuesday in the capital murder trial of 65-year-old Yaser Said, who is accused of killing 18-year-old Amina Said and 17-year-old Sarah Said on New Year’s Day in 2008. Said, described by relatives and friends as controlling and abusive, faces an automatic life sentence if convicted.
Prosecutors haven't made any comments on what motivated the killings, though police documents show that before the teens were killed, their mother had fled with them to Oklahoma because they feared Said. According to a police report, a family member told investigators that Said at one point had threatened “bodily harm” against one of his daughters for dating a non-Muslim.
In a letter written to the judge overseeing the case, Said said he was not happy with his kids’ “dating activity” but denied killing his daughters.
The sisters were shot multiple times in the Dallas suburb of Irving. Sarah Said managed to call 911 using a cellphone, telling the operator that her father shot her and that she was dying.
Yaser Said, sought on a capital murder warrant since the slayings, was placed on the FBI's most-wanted list. Said, who had worked as a taxi driver, was finally arrested in August 2020 in Justin, about 35 miles (58 kilometers) northwest of Dallas.
His son, Islam Said, and his brother, Yassim Said, have since been convicted of helping him evade arrest.
According to an affidavit for an arrest warrant filed just after the slayings, the teens’ mother told police that Said had threatened her and the teens before, and had recently threatened to kill the whole family.