IRVING, Texas — Update: On Tuesday, following six days of his capital murder trial, a Dallas jury found Yaser Said guilty of murdering his two teenage daughters.
Prosecutors did not seek out the death penalty in this capital murder case; with this conviction, Said is automatically sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Original story follows.
* * * * *
Sarah, 17, and Amina Said, 18, had big hopes of going to college and living the American dream -- until those dreams were cut short when they were shot and killed.
Their accused killer is their father, Yaser Said.
Home videos give a glimpse into their lives. Behind the camera is their father.
"He followed them everywhere he went and recorded their every move," said Ruth Trotter, a family friend.
Trotter, whose son Joseph dated Amina, says Said was obsessed with his daughters and was abusive.
When they were younger, Amina and Sarah filed a police report accusing him of sexual assault. Eventually, the charges were dropped.
But police believed the girls were scared of their father. And police believed he became jealous and obsessed because the girls both dated American boys. Police said it caused him to do the unthinkable.
"I think it frustrated him and he couldn’t handle it and he killed them," said detective Eric Curtis of the Irving Police Department.
Trotter says Amina told her that her father might kill her.
"I knew the threat was real and told us her dad might kill them,” said Trotter.
The girls begged their mother, Patricia, to leave. In December of 2008, she took Amina and Sarah and two friends to Oklahoma.
But police said on New Year’s Eve after talking to Said, Patricia brought the girls back home and convinced them to have dinner with him alone.
Police believed Said borrowed a taxi cab from a friend, and that’s where he shot his daughters.
Sarah managed to call 911 and named her father as her killer.
"My father shot me. I’m dying... I’m dying," she said.
Said Trotter: "You hear her last breath fighting 'til the very end."
Amina was shot twice. Sarah was shot nine times.
Police frantically searched for the girls but couldn’t find them.
An hour after the first call, a second 911 call came in from a man who spotted the girls slumped in the taxi in front of the Omni Hotel in Irving.
Their father, however, had vanished. There were reports he had fled to Egypt, or possibly New York.
Eventually, Said ended up on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list.
His son, immediately after the murders, made a plea for him to give himself up.
"Maybe they won’t put you on death row, but you can sit in prison and think about what you did," said Islam Said.
But police always believed Said's son and other family members helped hide him. And, after 13 long years, a tip came in that helped the FBI and Irving police arrest Said at a home in Justin, Texas.
It was just 30 miles from where Sarah and Amina were killed.
The FBI also arrested his son and brother for harboring a fugitive. Both men have already been convicted and sentenced to more than a decade in prison.
Meanwhile, Yaser Said has spent some of his time awaiting trial in the Dallas County jail, writing rambling letters to the judge and proclaiming his innocence.
In one letter he wrote, “I was not happy about my kids' dating activity. But, I did not do the killings or any plan to hurt them.”
Said, who is 65 years old, will stand trial for capital murder this week.
The Dallas County district attorney has said he won’t seek the death penalty. If convicted, Said will be automatically sentenced to life without parole.