On Friday, a Texas man was found guilty of murdering his wife after she asked him for a divorce on their first day of being married, officials reported.
Tareq Alkayyali, 39, of Arlington, was found guilty of strangling his 23-year-old wife to death in May of 2019, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office said in a release.
His wife, Wasam Moussa, had arrived in Texas just days before visiting Alkayyali from her home country of Jordan.
Alkayyali will now serve 23 years in prison, being sentenced just hours after the verdict was read.
According to Allenna Bangs and Madeline Jones, Assistant Tarrant County Criminal District Attorneys, Moussa was not entirely on board with marrying Alkayyali in Jordan in 2018. Moussa reportedly told him she wanted a divorce the day after their wedding.
Prosecutors explained during the trial how the two did not have a typical marriage from the get-go. Moussa and Alkayyali never honeymooned, Moussa returned to her family’s home with her belongings after the wedding, and Alkayyali returned to Arlington.
The two then spent several months apart, and during that time, prosecutors said that Alkayyali had an affair with a coworker.
On May 25, 2019, Moussa traveled to Texas to visit her husband for a short trip. While there, the two argued and talked about divorce, and Moussa reportedly told her brother that Alkayyali covered her mouth with his hand during the fight.
“She went to the United States to try to give her husband a chance to make a life for her family,” Ahmad Ali, Moussa’s brother, said in a 2019 email to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Ali continued writing that “she went there knowing that she had a lot of problems with him.” He also said that she was scared of him.
On May 28, 2019, prosecutors said that Alkayyali killed his wife by strangling her during another argument. The night before she died, he had googled how to have his wife deported.
He claimed that he left her on the bed because she had fainted, but an autopsy determined that she was killed by asphyxiation.
“He put his hand over her face, a person that he loved, and he watched as the light went out of her eyes,” Allenna Bangs told the jury. “What is a life worth?”