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L.A. Father Accused Of Murdering Son Because He Was Gay

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A 69-year-old man from North Hills was charged Friday for murder with a hate crime allegation after he allegedly shot and killed his son because he was gay. The shooting occurred immediately after the man’s wife was found stabbed to death inside the family’s home, according to the Daily News.

“The murder was committed because of the victim’s sexual orientation and because of the defendant's perception of that status and the victims' association with a person and a group of that status,” prosecutors said in a statement on Friday, according to the L.A. Times.

Though the story is more complicated than a cut-and-dry hate crime. Per reporting in the Daily News, suspect Shehadeh Khalil Issa allegedly discovered his mutilated wife’s body in the bathroom of the family’s home around 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

Issa then heard noises inside the house, armed himself with a shotgun and found his 29-year-old son Amir outside on the house’s front lawn with a knife. Issa told police that his son threatened him with a knife, and he opened fire in self-defense.

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“The suspect made incriminating statements implicating himself in the death of (the son) and was arrested for murder,” Operations-Valley Bureau Homicide Detective John Doerbecker said to the Daily News on Tuesday. “He claimed (the son) was armed with a knife, and there was no knife to be found (there). It was a horrible family tragedy.”

While prosecutors did not include information relating to the death of the mother—who has not been identified—on Friday, the Daily News reported that things were far from stable in the Issa household.

Neighbors reported that Shehadeh Issa and his wife were in the process of evicting their 29-year-old son from the house. The couple was planning to sell the house and move to Arizona partly to be closer to other children, and partly because of problematic gang violence in the neighborhood.

Amir Issa had repeatedly vandalized his family’s home, and father and son were frequently heard screaming at each other.

Prosecutors argue that the homicide was premeditated, and that Shehadeh Issa had threatened to kill his son previously because he was gay. The investigation into the mother’s death is ongoing.

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Issa is now being held at the Men’s Central Jail without bail. If convicted, it’s possible he could serve life in prison without the possibility parole.