PEORIA, Ariz. — A 20-year-old woman from Iraq has died of injuries sustained in what prosecutors are calling an "honor killing."
Faleh Hassan Almaleki, 48, of Glendale, Ariz., is accused of running over his daughter, Noor Almaleki, and another woman in his Jeep Cherokee because he was infuriated with his daughter for becoming "too Westernized."
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Noor Almaleki died Monday of injuries she received during the Oct. 20 attack.
Peoria police said charges against Almaleki, who is in a Maricopa County jail on two counts of aggravated assault, will be upgraded, though a spokesman wasn't sure what the exact charges would be.
Social experts say honor killings are an accepted practice in Iraqi tribal society, where family members feel they must kill a woman who shames them by not adhering to traditional Muslim or Iraqi values.
Family members said Almaleki was outraged after his daughter married a man in Iraq but returned to the Valley to live with a boyfriend and his mother in Surprise. The other victim, 43-year-old Amal Edan Khalaf, is apparently the boyfriend's mother.
Police said Almaleki fled the country after the attack, driving to Mexico and later taking a plane to London. He was detained by British authorities and extradited to Atlanta last week.
Speaking before a Maricopa County judge over the weekend, county prosecutor Stephanie Low said Almaleki has admitted purposefully running down his daughter.
"By his own admission, this was an intentional act and the reason was that his daughter had brought shame on him and his family," Low said. "This was an attempt at an honor killing."
Almaleki did not address the accusations and spoke only to ask the judge about getting a court-appointed attorney.
Low said additional family members are suspected of assisting Almaleki in his escape.
"We can't be naive and ignore that there's a cultural aspect to this and there may be people who would support him, including his family, but also others who share his beliefs," she said.
Citing Almaleki's flight, Low asked the judge to take special precautions to prevent him from running again. Bail was set at $5 million.
Calls to Almaleki's family members were not returned Monday.
Police said the Almalekis moved to Peoria from Iraq in the mid-1990s.
Dustin Gardiner, The Arizona Republic. Contributing: The Associated Press