It takes a lot to drive someone to commit murder and to risk living their entire life behind bars weighed down by the guilt of what they’ve done.
Yet, when Texas police discovered a 25-year-old had been murdered by his own aunt, police couldn’t understand why anyone would want to kill the young man, who everyone had described as selfless, kind, and loving. When officers looked through his phone, however, they discovered what their prime suspect had at stake if she didn’t kill her nephew…
The Home Instruder
At around 8 in the morning on August 9, 2016, officers from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office were instructed to make a visit to a home in the 12500 block of Dry Run in far west Bexar County. According to dispatch, a woman reported someone was trying to break into her home.
A Familiar Address
When officers saw the address, however, they knew exactly where they were going as they had been sent to the home before. In the last year alone, eight 911 calls had been made from the address for criminal mischief, reckless driving, and neighborhood disturbances…
A Simple Mistake
When the officer arrived at the home, he met 35-year-old Andira Abdelaziz, who lived in the home with her husband and children. She explained that she thought someone had been trying to break into the home, but it was just her nephew, 25-year-old Mohammed Abdelaziz.
No Charges Filed
“A BCSO deputy was called to the home when a woman reported someone was attempting to break into the house. The deputy discovered there was no burglary, and that the woman had gotten into an argument with her nephew who used to live at the home. The woman told the deputy there was no longer an issue and no charges were necessary,” Bexar County Sheriff’s Office explained…
“Neither one of them wanted to press charges so our deputy documented the report and then left,” said James Keith from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office. “He was literally about a block or two away when some family members ran up to him and said you need to get back over there, they are at it again.”
A Grisly Discovery
This time, the officer returned to a frantic scene. Mohammed was found laying on the wheel of his car, which he had crashed into the home. The officer discovered a knife sticking out of the 25-year-old’s back, and tried desperately to save him…
Putting The Pieces Together
Sadly, the officer’s efforts were unsuccessful and Mohammed was pronounced dead at the scene. After that, officers tried to figure out what exactly happened in the minutes before they were able to return to the house. “We have very emotional family members who were literally running all over the place while our deputies were trying to piece the pieces together,” James Keith added.
“It’s believed the victim and his aunt went back into the home after the deputy left, at which time the woman grabbed a knife and stabbed her nephew. The man was able to go outside and get in a car, but instead of driving away he crashed the car into the house,” Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said…
A Murder Charge
That morning, the police arrested Andira Abdelaziz and charged her with a single charge of murder. The family was absolutely devastated and police opened up an investigation to figure out why Andira would possibly want to murder her own nephew.
After talking to the family, police discovered that the victim had grown up in Ramallah, Israel/Palestine and had returned to live in San Antonio when he was 16 years old to live with his Palestinian American family and help run the family businesses that his father and uncles owned…
Fighting For Human Rights
While in the United States, Mohammed earned a political science degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio. After that, he went to Washburn University in Kansas and earned a law degree. According to his family, he wanted to be an international human rights lawyer.
A Selfless Son
“He made a personal choice … to come back to San Antonio because he wanted to take the Texas Bar, be around (his family) and help them out because they were struggling financially,” said Mohammed’s cousin, Sarah Alfadda. “He was just very compassionate. He could have gone anywhere in the country, he could have taken the Kansas Bar, he could have done multiple different things, but he made the choice to come back here to support them and help them financially…”
A Bright Future
“He actually wanted to go home this summer and get married. He was looking forward to that,” Mohammed’s sisters-in-law Nadia Abdelaziz said. “He just wanted to be happy. He wanted to have kids one day. He wanted to be a dad; he was a good uncle.”
Something Doesn’t Add Up
The family had only good things to say about Mohammed and how he had such a bright future before it was taken from him. Police couldn’t understand why anyone would want to kill the 25-year-old, but then they found something interesting in his phone messages…
Police found a text conversation in Mohammed’s phone with Andira that revealed the 2 had been having an affair. On the day of his death, Mohammed sent vicious, threatening messages to Andira that he was going to tell everyone about their affair.
Keeping The Victim Quiet
During the trial, the prosecution argued that Andira was afraid Mohammed would reveal her shameful secret and killed him to keep him quiet. Andira’s defense attorney, however, argued that wasn’t the whole story. According to the defense, Andira, whose marriage was arranged when she was 14, was afraid that the truth about the affair would harm her children or make her a target of honor killing, but that wasn’t why she stabbed him…
The Real Victim
Andira’s lawyer explained that the affair with her nephew by marriage had started out as a ‘tender relationship’ before he went away to college. When he came back, however, he was different. Mohammed allegedly abused alcohol, Adderall, and OxyContin. He also started physically and verbally abusing Andira, who was already living in an abusive environment as her husband had a conviction for assault and family violence. “She was suffering bruising and massive beatings to all parts of her body,” said Andira’s attorney Michael McCrum. “Text messages from him show a character of domination. He just wanted to dominate her.”
Threats Of Violence
During the trial, text message conversations between the 2 were used as evidence of the abuse. Mohammed would regularly call Andira a ‘daughter of a whore,’ and demanded she slept on the couch instead of in bed with her husband. If she wasn’t asleep on the couch when he peeked through the window in the middle of the night, he threatened to kill her and her kids. “Your life is over. Your kids are over. You’re dead,” Mohammed wrote in one message…
Fighting For Her Life
According to Andira, she truly believed Mohammed was going to kill her and harm her children, which is why she had to fight back when she still had the chance. “She was trying to survive,” defense attorney Liza Rodriguez said. “The state didn’t contest that she was a victim of domestic violence. Usually, the woman is the one who is dead. If you believe she acted in fear for her life, find that she did this in sudden passion.”
Andira faces up to life in prison, but the jury took just 2 hours to determine the crime was an act of sudden passion, which drastically reduced the possible maximum sentence, and sentenced her to 2 years in prison. The verdict, however, has left the family permanently divided. “I have lost my son,” Aziz Abdelaziz said. “Nothing will bring him back. I cannot say what should be done with Andira. Andira is a human being and me and my family don’t wish harm on anyone. We leave it with God. Islam asks us to forgive but also says if a life is taken, then you take a life, but I am not going there.”