In summer 2008, Noor moved in with a girlfriend's family for a time. That July Faleh asked Glendale police to charge his daughter with felony auto theft after she took his car early one morning (not the Jeep) and got into a minor accident.

Faleh tried to make a deal with her: If she returned home and straightened herself out, he would ask authorities to drop the case against her.

But Noor wouldn't agree to that and wound up facing a serious charge that remained unresolved at the time of her death.

Noor Almaleki was a twenty-year-old college student who had dreams of becoming a fashion model.
Noor Almaleki was a twenty-year-old college student who had dreams of becoming a fashion model.
Accused murderer Faleh Almaleki in a police mugshot taken after his arrest last October.
Accused murderer Faleh Almaleki in a police mugshot taken after his arrest last October.

Things continued to deteriorate inside the Almaleki family.

In March 2009, Seham Almaleki won an order of protection against Noor in Glendale City Court. In her petition Seham claimed Noor had come home and hit her on one occasion and had cursed her at the family home on another.

Noor did not contest the order, which barred her from the Almaleki residence and from contacting her siblings at their schools.

By this time, she had moved in with her new boyfriend, Marwan, and his mother. To the Almalekis, that was akin to a declaration of war by Noor, Amal Khalaf and her son.

On July 20, Faleh and Seham broke into Amal's home late at night in an attempt to corral their daughter.

Glendale police reports say Noor and Marwan weren't home at the time. But Seham banged on Amal's locked bedroom door and challenged her to come out and fight. Amal apparently hid until police arrived in response to a 911 call made by one of Amal's young daughters.

Amal declined to pursue criminal charges against the Almalekis.

Some of Faleh and Seham's concerns about their daughter's living arrangement may have been justified.

Last August 6, Glendale police arrested Marwan Alebadi on charges of assaulting Noor, allegedly as she tried to break up his fight with an unnamed third party at Amal's home.

Marwan was accused of breaking and lacerating Noor's nose during the clash, which he denied to police. The domestic-violence charge was pending when Noor died.

At home recovering from her injuries, Amal Khalaf told Peoria police in December that she had taken Noor in because the young woman had nowhere else to go after leaving her parents' house. Giving Noor shelter, not facilitating Noor's romantic relationship with her son, had been her sole concern, Amal stressed.

She said she knew how much Noor missed her younger siblings and that Noor would talk with her sixteen-year-old sister, Fatima, without her parents' knowledge.

Just days before the assaults, Amal said, she had persuaded Noor to reach out to her parents, in an effort to at least get a dialogue going.

Noor spoke with her mother by phone, but Amal said it didn't go well. She reported that Noor told her Seham had declared, "Amal is your mom; I'm not your mom."

In the weeks after his arrest and subsequent incarceration at the Maricopa County Jail, Faleh Almaleki spoke often by phone with family members. Authorities secretly taped every word.

"How is she now?" Faleh asked cousin Jamil during one conversation, which police later had translated into English. (Faleh and his family spoke in Arabic during their jail conversations.)

"Who's she?" Jamil asked.

"Noor," Faleh said.

"Noor died, brother," Jamil said.

"What?" Faleh asked.

"Yes, she's gone, Faleh. Now, look after yourself."

"Brother," Faleh replied, "talk to the lawyers and tell them it was not intended to be a murder."

Faleh told Jamil to ask the Iraqi consulate to intervene with the American government.

"Connect it to honor and dishonor and, I don't know, whatever," he said. "And an Iraqi is worth nothing without honor."

Jamil agreed, saying, "This is the base of the story. Newspapers wrote about this issue. It's happening now, and the Internet and whole world is writing about this subject."

Faleh continued to go over the honor-killing theme in phone calls with his wife.

"Listen," he told Seham, "have [friends] sit across from the [U.S.] consulate [in Iraq] and hold signs saying, 'The Iraqi honor is precious.' Signs saying that I'm not a criminal, [that] I didn't break into someone's house, [that] I didn't steal. You know what I mean? And for an Iraqi, honor is the most valuable thing."

Faleh went on with his riff: "No one hates his daughter, but honor is precious, and nothing is better than honor, and we are a tribal society that can't change. I didn't kill someone off the street. I tried to give her a chance, but no result."

Seham chided her husband at one point for having "rushed into it," presumably referring to his violent acts.

"Seham, don't blame me," Faleh protested. "Can you watch Amal's demeanor and do nothing? You can't. Amal brought it upon her."

"Amal brought it upon her," Seham repeated.

"Verily to Allah we belong, and verily to Him we shall return," Faleh told her.

"Trust in God, and pray to God," he said, "and don't rush and retain a mediocre lawyer."

The subject of legal representation came up in another recorded conversation.

Seham mentioned a lawyer who had "pulled a miracle" in an unspecified case.

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