A man has been charged with one count of premeditated murder as a hate crime after prosecutors allege he killed his son for being gay. The body of the man’s deceased wife was also found inside the home in Los Angeles.
Shehada Issa, 69, told police he shot his son Amir in self-defence after he discovered his wife’s body in their house. An investigation into the man’s wife’s death is ongoing.
In a press conference, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said that Mr Issa had previously threatened to kill his 29-year-old son for being gay.
“The murder was committed because of the victim’s sexual orientation and because of the defendant’s perception of that status and the victim’s’ association with a person and a group of that status,” prosecutors said in a statement.
Mr Issa was arrested after Los Angeles police officers found his son’s body outside their house in the city’s North Hills area. Mr Issa’s wife was found stabbed to death inside the house.
Detectives said Mr Issa told officers he discovered his wife’s body in a bathroom.
“He claimed (the son) was armed with a knife, and there was no knife to be found (there). It was a horrible family tragedy,” Detective John Doerbecker told the Daily News.
The Los Angeles Times reported that authorities allege the father used a shotgun in the attack against his son, and that there had been existing problems between the father and son – including the son reportedly vandalising the home.
Mr Issa was being held without bail pending his arraignment on April 11.
He faces life in prison if convicted of the charge.
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