A San Antonio woman who prosecutors say had a three-year affair with her nephew by marriage was convicted Thursday of stabbing him in the back and murdering him in August 2016.
Andira Abdelaziz, 37, initially faced up to life in prison on the murder charge, but the jury decided that she killed 25-year-old Mohammed Abdelaziz in "sudden passion," reducing the possible sentencing range to two to 20 years in prison. The jurors sentenced Andira to a two-year prison sentence, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Throughout her trial, her lawyers argued that Andira killed her nephew in self-defense, that he violently abused and intimidated her, even threatening her with death in text messages shortly before he was killed on Aug. 9, 2016, according to KSAT.
"She was trying to survive," defense lawyer Lisa Rodriguez said in her closing argument, according to the station. "She had never done anything like this before in all of the numerous beatings that she took."
Andira is pictured with a black right eye in her initial booking photo after her arrest in connection with Mohammad's death.
It took jurors less than two hours to decide on the minimum sentence, according to the Express-News.
Authorities found Mohammed Abdelaziz dead behind the wheel of his car on the morning of Aug. 9, 2016, with a large stab wound in his back. He had gotten in his car to drive away from his attacker but ended up crashing into the house of Andira and her husband, Karim.
A neighbor in that Far West Side neighborhood told KENS that Andira was shouting "He beats me, he beats me! Is he OK?" as investigators arrived at her home for the second time that morning.
The first call to police from the Abdelaziz home came just minutes before Mohammed was killed, according to previous reporting from KSAT. Andira initially told Bexar County Sheriff's deputies that Mohammed was an intruder in her home, but she recanted when they arrived, they said.
The guilty verdict and the sentencing decisions, which came down just minutes apart, caused gasps of emotion from bitterly divided family members in the courtroom, according to the Express-News. Mohammed's immediate family sat behind the prosecutors, while Andira's children sat behind the defense, letting out cries in Arabic in response to the guilty verdict, WOAI reported.
According to previous reporting from the Express-News, Andira married her husband, Karim, when she was 14 years old as part of tradition in the family's Palestinian culture.