Husband of slain Iraqi-American pleads not guilty

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Associated Press

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 13 at 5:30 PM

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — A man whose wife's slaying was initially thought to be a hate crime has pleaded not guilty to her murder in California.

Kassim Alhimidi entered his plea Tuesday during a brief appearance by video monitor in Superior Court in El Cajon (kuh-HOHN').

The 48-year-old Alhimidi was ordered held without bail after prosecutors told the judge he recently traveled to Iraq and should be considered a flight risk.

He is charged with murder in the death of his wife, Shaima Alawadi, last March.

Her slaying drew international attention after the couple's teenage daughter said she found a note by her mother's bludgeoned body that read: "Go back to your country, you terrorist."

Alawadi left Iraq in the early 1990s. She lived in Saudi Arabian refugee camps before coming to the U.S.

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