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El Cajon Jury Finds Iraqi Immigrant Guilty Of Wife’s Death

A jury has convicted an Iraqi immigrant of bludgeoning his wife to death in their suburban San Diego home, a case that was initially considered a hate crime.

Kassim Alhimidi shook his head and wagged his finger as the verdict was read Thursday. He was charged with murdering his 32-year-old wife, Shaima Alawadi, in El Cajon, home to one of the largest enclaves of Iraqi immigrants in the U.S.

Prosecutors argued that the 49-year-old defendant lied to police about his troubled marriage and apologized to his wife as she lay dying in a hospital. Defense lawyers said Alhimidi loved his wife.

Investigators initially considered the March 2012 killing a hate crime after a note was found near the body that read: "This is my country, go back to yours, you terrorist."

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