The primary day of Yaser Mentioned’s trial particulars his daughters’ botched escape

Amina Said was so close to backing away from the man she feared.

The 18-year-old Lewisville High School senior fled the state, got an apartment and planned to start a new life.

However, her mother forced Amina to return to her father in 2008. on Tuesday, January 1, her then-boyfriend Edgar Ruiz testified. in a Dallas County courtroom with her father capital murder trial. That same evening, she and her younger sister were shot and killed.

Amina’s last words to Ruiz were that he would never see her again.

“She knew she was going to die,” Ruiz, 34, said on the first day of pretrial testimony Yasser said.

Said, 65, is accused of shooting Amina and her 17-year-old sister Sara in his taxi. A passerby found their bullet-riddled bodies outside an Irving hotel. If convicted, Said faces an automatic life sentence because prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.

Man who evaded capture for 12 years to stand trial in Dallas for killing his daughters

He was on the lam for 12 years until he was arrested in 2020 August. at the family home in Denton County. Said’s son Islam Said and brother Yassein Said were arrested on suspicion of helping to cover him up. Last year Islam Said was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and Yassein Said turned 12 years old.

Yaser Said appeared in court wearing a dark blue sports coat over a white shirt and a dark striped tie. He wore a mask to protect himself from COVID-19 and often whispered loudly with an Arabic translator nearby. The girls’ mother, Patricia Owens, who divorced Said after the murders, has not been charged.

Prosecutor Lauren Black told jurors that Said wanted control over his wife and daughters, and in the weeks leading up to the shooting, he became angry because he felt he was losing control of them. Said in 2007 put a gun to Amina’s head in December, so the girls and their mother died on December 23. ran away, she said.

Connie Moggio, aunt of Amina Said, 18, and Sarah Said, 17, 2022 takes the stand on the first day of Yaser Said’s trial on Tuesday, August 2, at the Frank Crowley Courthouse in Dallas. Said, 65, will be charged with murder and face an automatic life sentence for killing his daughters on New Year’s Day 2008 after evading arrest for 12 years.(Liesbeth Powers/Staff Photographer)

“This is a case about a man obsessed with possession and control,” Black said.

But defense attorneys said the police investigation was botched from the start. Authorities became involved with Said after the girls’ boyfriends accused him of murder and never investigated the other people, said defense attorney Joseph Patton.

Patton said the boys started telling the story that Said killed his daughters because he didn’t want them to have American boyfriends. Said was born in Egypt and holds dual citizenship.

Patton said the boys spoke with police, but officers did not test them for gunshot residue. Police also did not match their fingerprints or DNA to the crime scene, Patton said. Dozens of law enforcement officers are expected to testify in the coming days, Patton said.

“Instead of investigating the murders, they investigated Yaser,” he said. “The evidence cannot and will not support a conviction for murder.”

“He’ll… Kill Us”

Two weeks before the escape, Amina, Sara, Ruiz and Sara’s boyfriend, Eric Panameno, hatched a plan, the men testified. Panameno said she wants to drop out of school to support the girls’ dreams of becoming doctors.

Amina initially planned to run away on her own, Ruiz said. However, Ruiz suggested that she take Sara to protect her. Ruiz said she would also have to take her mother with her if their affair ended. Her mother could protect her, Ruiz said.

in 2007 December 21 Amina e-mail mailed by Lewisville High School history teacher Renee Hopkins, the teacher testified. She told Hopkins of her plan to leave and begged him to keep her safe until she settled down. Amina was afraid that her father would find out.

“He will kill us without drama or doubt,” Amina wrote in an email Hopkins shared with school administrators.

Video offers glimpse into slain Lewisville sisters’ relationship with father accused of killing them in taxi

The teacher’s face turned red and she blinked back tears as the prosecutor read the email aloud.

Amina’s friend Caitlin Rogers testified that in 2007 On Christmas Day, she received an email. a letter from Amina. Amina seemed positive and hopeful, Rogers said.

The girls, their mother, and the boys settled in Tulsa after a brief stint in Kansas, where Owens had family.

in 2007 December 26 Said reported his wife and daughters missing to Lewisville police. December 27 Lewisville Police Sgt. Michael Wragg testified Owens called him. She said she was “alive and well” but was afraid of her husband and asked how she could enroll her daughters in a new school without him knowing, Wragg said. He said the call was static until it hung up.

Ruiz left Tulsa to return to Lewisville for a family New Year’s Eve party. December 30 Amina texted him that she decided to come back because her mother needed to run errands.

“It wasn’t a group decision,” Panameno said. “I think Sarah wanted to fix everything, and Patricia kind of convinced us that everything would be safe.”

But Amina had her doubts. She stayed with Ruiz at his parents’ house while her mother and Sarah returned to Saida.

The bodies of Amina Yaser Said, 18, and Sarah Yaser Said, 17, were found by their father...
The bodies of Amina Yaser Said, 18, and Sarah Yaser Said, 17, were found in their father’s taxi cab in Irving in 2008. Tuesday evening, January 2nd. Both teenagers died from multiple gunshot wounds. A death warrant has been issued for their father, Yaser Abdel Said (50), who remains at large.(FACEBOOK.COM)

Aunt told to run

in 2008 January 1 Amina called her aunt Connie Moggio. Moggio testified that her niece sounded “frantic” and said Owens returned to his dad.

Moggio said she told Amina to go to the Lewisville Police Department, file a restraining order against her father and “go as far as you can.”

Owens showed up on the doorstep of Ruiz’s parents’ home around 5 or 6 p.m. and demanded that Amina go home. Owens grabbed her daughter by the arm and kicked her out of the house, Ruiz said.

Amina told Ruiz that he let her down.

Later that evening, Ruiz and his father spotted the girls and Said in a taxi. The couple got into the taxi together, and Ruiz said he saw Amina in the front passenger seat looking at Said, who was driving. Sarah was in the back passenger seat. Amina looked uncomfortable and scared, Ruiz recalled.

That night around 7:30 p.m., Sarah called 911 to say her dad had shot her and she was dying.

About an hour later, a man called authorities after discovering their bodies in a taxi outside the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Las Colinas, a section of Irving. Prosecutors said the girls were shot multiple times.

Jaser Said, accused of murdering his two daughters in 2008, was released in 2017. was barely caught, officials said.

“Normal Life”

Amina and Sara were honor roll students and athletes at Lewisville High School. They placed in the top 10% of their classes, Panameno said. Amina has received scholarship offers from colleges, Ruiz added.

The girls were kind-hearted and wanted to help people, Panameno said. Hopkins, their history teacher in Lewisville, described Amina as thoughtful and Sara as curious.

Defense lawyers said Said was a concerned father who did not want the boys to interfere with his daughters’ studies and aspirations.

Moggio described Amina as “bubbly, happy and very intelligent – a great girl”. Sara, according to Moggio, was “stubborn but also happy”, energetic and beautiful.

Moggio cried as pictures of the girls smiling in school photos were shown in the courtroom.

“These were two young, energetic young ladies,” Black said. “… Normal teenage girls who wanted a normal life.”

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