The ex-wife of an Egyptian man on trial for killing their two daughters for dating American boys called him the devil because she alleged she was abused for 15 years under his leadership.
When prosecutors asked Patricia Owens to identify her ex-husband, Yasser Saeed, 65, in court Thursday, she referred to the man accused of killing her two daughters, 17-year-old Sarah and 18-year-old Amina, NBC 5 reported.
“That devil is there,” she said, bearing witness to the years of abuse she and her two daughters suffered at the hands of Saeed.
The Egyptian-born taxi driver, who lived with his family north of Dallas, allegedly shot and killed his daughters in his taxi after telling them they were going to eat on New Year’s Day in 2008.
It is widely believed that Said committed an honor killing – a practice in which individuals are killed for bringing shame to their families – after he discovered the girls had non-Muslim friends and thought they had become “too American”.
Patricia Owens (pictured) called her ex-husband Yasser Saeed “that devil” during the murder trial of their two teenage daughters Thursday.
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Said, 65, is accused of shooting to death 17-year-old Sarah and 18-year-old Amina on New Year’s Day in 2008 in what prosecutors called “honour killings” because the girls allegedly shamed him for being “too American.” . ”
Sarah (left) and Amina (right) ran away from their father several times before their deaths
During her testimony, Owens said that she married Said in 1987 when she was 15 and he was 29, and had her three children within the first three years of their marriage.
In 1998, Owens filed a report with the Hill County Sheriff’s Office accusing Saeed of sexually assaulting the two girls.
She said she ran away with the three children for months before eventually returning to the family home near Waco and asking the girls to retract their stories.
Owens and her daughters eloped again in 2007, moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma, after the girls said they feared for their lives if they lived with their father.
She noted that Saeed would allegedly look at the girls’ phone records and call the numbers to see if they belonged to a boy or a girl.
Despite running away from him, Owens and the girls returned to their Texas home because they were afraid of “repercussions” if they didn’t.
When prosecutors asked Owens if she knew what would happen when they returned, she said, “Part of me did it. Part of me didn’t.”
Pictured: Yasser Saeed during his trial. He declined to look at officials who gave details of the two girls’ bullet-ridden bodies found in his car.
Owens claimed that Said would go through the girls’ phones and call their contacts to see if they were a boy or a girl.
The grieving mother described Saeed as abusive and controlling, and said she kept going back to him because she was afraid of “repercussions” if she didn’t.
In the years following the 1998 allegations, friends of the girls reported that they often saw them with bruises on their bodies or testified that Said was physically violent towards his family.
The girls reportedly confided to their friends that their father was a control freak, and that they often feared he was watching them wherever they went.
In a home video recorded by Saeed, the girls are filmed in their bedroom while Saeed can be heard saying, suggesting “Sarah sleeps with her pants on? Mmm, so cute,” Wow, look at those eyes. I’m watching you.’
Along with Owen’s testimony, the court was also shown the victims’ bullet-ridden clothes and heard Sarah’s 911 call immediately after the shooting.
Help, my father shot me! I’m dying,’ Sarah’s voice can be heard on the call I was able to make after she was shot. Investigators said Amina was killed on the spot.
Police received Sarah’s frantic 911 call around 7:30 p.m. on New Year’s Day. Although she accused her father on the call, she seemed to pass out before dispatchers could locate her or any other information.
Shortly after the call, the cops received another call from a man reporting two unconscious women in a car in the parking lot of the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Irving, Texas.
There, the police found the two girls dead inside their father’s taxi with several gunshot wounds each.
Saeed immediately became the prime suspect, and when the authorities raided the family’s home the next day he was nowhere to be seen.
Saeed (right) with his son Islam and daughters Sarah (center, right) and Amina (left). Islam helped shelter his father after he allegedly killed the girls
Saeed spent six years on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitive List
Ibn Saeed, Islam (left) and his brother Yassin (right). Both are serving federal prison terms for harboring Saeed when he was a wanted fugitive
Saeed spent six years on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitive List.
He was found hiding in Justin, Texas – barely 30 miles from the crime scene – where he was harboring his son Islam, who at the time of the murder was 19, and his brother Yassin, who was about 45.
Both relatives were arrested after their arrest and are serving sentences in federal prison.
Owens said she never spoke to Saeed again after the girls’ deaths and divorced him in 2009. She said she feared her ex-husband would come and kill her one day.
In 2011, while Said was still at large, Owens told the Dallas Morning News that she believed the killings might have been due to her ex-husband’s belief that the girls were shaming the family in their Western ways.
“He was saying things like, ‘They’ve become very American,'” she said.