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News

Valley Man Killed Son To Cover Up Wife's Murder, Not Because He Was Gay, Police Say

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Earlier this week, the story that a North Hills man may have killed his own son because he was gay made national headlines. The L.A. District Attorney's office announced Friday they were planning on prosecuting Shehada Issa with a hate crime for the murder of his son. But new details from investigators paint a much more complicated story.

LAPD detectives said Monday that news reports alleging a 69-year-old North Hills man murdered his son because he was gay are not accurate.

On the morning of March 29, LAPD officers arrived at a North Hills home to discover a mother and her adult son dead. Issa originally told LAPD his 38-year-old son Ameir Issa had tried to attack him with a knife and he had killed him in self-defense. LAPD now believes Issa may have committed both homicides. LAPD detective John Doerbecker told the L.A. Times, "Dad killed mom and then killed his son to cover it up."

Issa’s story, that he shot his son because his son was trying to attack him with a knife, conflicted with the physical evidence found at the scene. No knife was recovered anywhere near Ameir Issa’s body.

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The body of Rabihah Issa—mother to Ameir and wife to Shehada—was found with stab wounds. Investigators have also determined that Rabihah Issa’s body had been killed sometime in the 24 hours preceding Ameir’s death, not necessarily immediately before.

The investigation is ongoing, but police are working to substantiate the double-homicide claim.

Reporting from the Daily News tells us that the Issa household was a troubled one. Ameir Issa had moved back home to his parents’ house following a 2010 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon in San Diego. Ameir Issa was sentenced to treatment in a state mental hospital, followed by three years probation with more mental health treatment.

Tensions in the household skyrocketed in the weeks after he returned home. Neighbors reported often hearing father and son screaming at each other late into the night.

Ameir’s Facebook page also revealed some haunting insights into his mental state. Per the L.A. Times, Ameir posted that his family was "literally controlling me in my sleep" and that "they tell people to rape and molest me and make it seem like I enjoy that,” about a week before the homicide.

"If there is a devil or evil spirit, I truly believe it manifests itself in my family," the Facebook post said.