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Iraqi man goes on trial for California death first probed as hate crime

By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – The trial of an Iraqi-American man got under way in San Diego on Tuesday on charges he beat his wife to death, a 2012 killing first investigated as a possible anti-Muslim hate crime but later said by prosecutors to be the result of domestic violence. Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old stay-at-home mother of five, was found in March 2012 bludgeoned in her home in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, home to a large Arab-American population, and died of her injuries several days later. Iraqi government officials attended her funeral in Iraq. Police said at the time of Alawadi’s slaying that they were considering hate as a motive, but in November arrested Alawadi’s husband, Kassim Alhimidi.

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