February 18, 2011 | 10:04am
The jury at the "honor killing" trial of Faleh Almaleki still hasn't decided which degree of homicide to impose in the closely watched case.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle sent the panel home for the long weekend after several hours of deliberation yesterday.
It isn't scheduled to report back to the downtown Phoenix courthouse until Tuesday to continue its grim task of deciding the 50-year-old's legal fate.
As our loyal readers know, Almaleki is charged in the October 2009 murder of his oldest child, 20-year-old Noor, by running her and another woman over with his Jeep Cherokee in a Peoria parking lot.
The other woman, Amal Khalaf, a former family friend of the Almalekis, was seriously injured in the hit-and-run incident.
The motive, according to authorities, was Faleh Almaleki's rage against the pair--Noor for allegedly becoming too "Westernized," and Amal for allowing Noor to live with her (and with Noor's boyfriend, who is Amal's son).
Almaleki's defense team did not argue that their client is innocent, but asked jurors to find him guilty of manslaughter instead of first or second-degree murder in Noor's death. Almaleki also is charged with several other serious felonies, including attempted murder and leaving the scene of the crime.
Man, to be a fly on the wall of that jury deliberation room!