Charged Iraqi father may need mental-health exam

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX (AP) — The lawyer for an Iraqi immigrant charged in the killing of his 20-year-old daughter says his client doesn't understand court proceedings and may have to be evaluated by a mental-health expert.

Attorney Billy Little said Wednesday that he first met with 49-year-old Faleh Hassan Almaleki on Tuesday, and that the immigrant didn't understand the role of his lawyer, the judge or a grand jury.

Little says that could be due to a combination of language and cultural barriers and a possible mental-health issue.

Almaleki was in court Wednesday and said only his name and birthday when prompted by the judge. His next scheduled court date is Feb. 8.

Authorities say Almaleki ran down his daughter with his Jeep on Oct. 20 as she was walking across a parking lot in the Phoenix suburb of Peoria. Noor Faleh Almaleki died Nov. 2