Defense calls death accident, not 'honor killing'

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX (AP) -- An attorney for an Iraqi immigrant accused of killing his daughter because he believed she was too Westernized said the death was an accident caused when he tried to spit on a woman who had helped his daughter.

But a prosecutor said during opening statements Monday in the case of Faleh Almaleki that he intentionally slammed his Jeep into his 20-year-old daughter, Noor Almaleki, and her boyfriend's mother.

The prosecutor told jurors in Phoenix that Almaleki had become increasingly angry over his daughter's failure to follow his orders, and their relationship had become more strained in the two years before her October 2009 death.

A defense attorney says Faleh Almaleki only wanted to show his disgust with the older woman but swerved and ended up running down both women.