DALLAS - Testimony began Tuesday in the capital murder trial of a former fugitive on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.Yaser Said is accused of the murders of his teenage daughters in 2008.
He was on the run from then until his ultimate capture in 2020.Said disappeared simultaneously with the girls' murders and eluded police and the FBI for 12 years before he was finally captured.Prosecutors say the evidence shows Said murdered them because, as a Muslim, they brought disgrace on his family because of their western lifestyle that included dating non-Muslim boys.The defense, in opening statements, pointed to police targeting him because he is Muslim in post-9/11 America.
Through attorney Brad Lollar, Said on Tuesday entered a plea of not guilty.There were tears from Connie Moggio, the aunt to Amina and Sarah Said, as she was asked to identify an autopsy photo in contrast to pictures in of the girls shortly before they were murdered on January 1, 2008, in the back seat of a taxicab at an Irving hotel.MORE: Opening statements begin Tuesday for father accused of murdering two daughtersSaid is facing capital murder for his daughters’ deaths.In opening statements, the state told jurors Said wanted to control every facet of his family's life."This is a case about a man possessed with possession and control," said Dallas County Prosecutor Lauren Black. "As they had more independence, that was less control for him."But defense attorneys countered that no eyewitness or surveillance camera captured the father at the crime scene and claimed the government focused on him because he was Muslim."The state wanted to convict Yaser Said for being Muslim in 2008," said defense attorney Joe Patton. "And the evidence does not support a capital.