Prosecutor: His Daughters Said He'd Kill Them, and He Did

Yaser Said, 65, is accused of shooting his teen daughters dead in 2008
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 3, 2022 9:30 AM CDT
He Was on FBI's Most Wanted List. Now He's on Trial
Yaser Said. Said, who evaded arrest for over 12 years after being accused of fatally shooting his two teen daughters in a taxi parked near a Dallas-area hotel, is set to go on trial this week.   (Irving Police Department via AP, File)

A man who evaded arrest for more than 12 years after being accused of fatally shooting his two teenage daughters in a taxi parked near a Dallas-area hotel was "obsessed with possession and control," a prosecutor said Tuesday during opening statements of his capital murder trial. Yaser Said, 65, is accused of killing 18-year-old Amina Said and 17-year-old Sarah Said on New Year's Day in 2008. Said, who entered a not guilty plea Tuesday, faces an automatic life sentence if convicted, per the AP.

About a week before the sisters were killed, they and their mother fled their home in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville to Oklahoma to get away from Yaser Said, who worked as a taxi driver, prosecutor Lauren Black said. The decision to leave was made after Said "put a gun to Amina's head and threatened to kill her," the prosecutor said. But, Black said, in another act of "manipulation" by Said, he told them he'd changed and convinced them to return home. The evening the sisters were shot, their father wanted to take just the two of them to a restaurant, she said. In a letter written to the judge overseeing the case, Said said he was not happy with his kids' "dating activity" but denied killing his daughters.

Before the sisters were found shot to death in a taxi parked near a hotel in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Sarah Said had managed to call 911 using a cellphone, telling the operator that her father had shot her and that she was dying. In moments of extreme trauma, like being shot multiple times, people can have hallucinations, defense attorney Joseph Patton said. In an email to her Lewisville High School history teacher a few days before she and her sister were killed, Amina Said noted that she and Sarah didn't want to live by their father's culture and marry men from the Middle East, "especially men we don't know or love."

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So they were running away from their father's home, she said in the email prosecutors read into evidence. "I know that he will search until he finds us, and he will without any drama nor doubt kill us," the email read. After the sisters were found fatally shot in the taxi, police contacted the taxi's registered owner, who said Yaser Said had been driving the taxi for the past 10 days, according to an affidavit for an arrest warrant. Said, who'd been sought on a capital murder warrant since the slayings, was placed on the FBI's most-wanted list. He was finally arrested in August 2020 in Justin, about 35 miles northwest of Dallas. His son, Islam Said, and his brother, Yassim Said, were subsequently convicted of helping him evade arrest.

(More murder trial stories.)

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