Iraqi man goes on trial in fatal beating of wife


EL CAJON, Calif. — Two years after an Iraqi woman’s fatal beating in her California home drew international attention, the weapon remains missing but prosecutors say other evidence proves her husband killed her.

Kassim Alhimidi wailed today during opening statements of his trial on a charge of murdering his wife, Shaima Alawadi, on March 21, 2012, prompting the San Diego County judge to halt proceedings briefly.

Prosecutor Kurt Mechals told jurors that local and federal police investigated the death initially as a hate crime because of a note found near her body, but street camera footage and the information from the couple’s eldest daughter about a troubled marriage led police to Alhimidi.

Defense attorney Douglas Gilliland said no blood was found on Alhimidi, who has cooperated with authorities.