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.
Kassim Alhimidi entered his plea during a brief appearance in Superior Court in El Cajon on Tuesday.
Alhimidi, 48, 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 killing 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, a mother of five, left Iraq in the early 1990s after a failed Shiite uprising.
She lived in Saudi Arabian refugee camps before coming to the U.S.