A La Habra man who strangled his girlfriend and left her body in an Anaheim trash bin before his arrest while trying to leave the country was convicted Tuesday of murder for the 2018 slaying.
An Orange County Superior Court jury deliberated for about an hour and a half before finding Amer Alhasan, now 33, guilty of first-degree murder for the Oct. 30, 2018 killing of 38-year-old Tiyanie Ly.
Ly’s body was discovered shoved in a duffel bag left in a trash container behind an apartment complex in the 2100 block of Balboa Plaza. Detectives quickly determined that Alhasan was the last person to see her alive and arrested him before he could board a flight out of the country at Los Angeles International Airport.
Deputy District Attorney Janine Madera told jurors that Alhasan killed Ly because she refused to get an abortion after the couple wrongly determined that she was pregnant with twin boys. Alhasan couldn’t afford a child, the prosecutor said, and at the same time he was dating Ly was also engaged to a woman in Jordan.
Attorney Michael Bruggeman, who represented Alhasan, argued the death was an accident that occurred in the heat of passion after Ly provoked Alhasan.
Alhasan, during his own testimony, admitted to killing Ly, but said it was an accident after she instigated a fight with him. He said she admitted she wasn’t pregnant before the fatal confrontation, and described panicking after her death when he dumped her body and tried to flee to Jordan, where he has family ties.
Ly and Alhasan — who had been dating for several months — broke up but then reconciled several days before her death. Ly told Alhasan she was pregnant, though tests taken after her death proved she was not.
Alhasan’s roommate testified that an emotional Alhasan told him that Ly didn’t want an abortion, leading the roommate to tell Alhasan it was ultimately Ly’s decision and that he needed to “man up.”
Alhasan claimed that Ly later admitted she wasn’t pregnant, but wouldn’t give him a reason why she had falsely claimed she was. Alhasan testified that he told her they needed to take a week break to figure things out, at which point he described taking Xanax and going to sleep.
Alhasan said he woke up to find Ly in his room. An argument ensued, he testified, in which he told her to leave and she said she wanted to talk.
Then, Alhasan claimed, Ly suddenly grabbed his testicles tightly and refused to let go. Alhasan testified that he responded by grabbing her by the neck, only letting go when her grip on his testicles loosened. Ly fell on top of him, unconscious, Alhasan testified, and when he was unable to revive her he realized she was dead.
Alhasan admitted to making a variety of web searches after his girlfriend’s death, including searches related to murder charges in California, fleeing to avoid a murder charge and dumping a dead body. He testified that he was panicking at the time.
He also downplayed his engagement to a woman in Jordan — which Ly was unaware of — testifying that in Jordan the term means their families had agreed they could communicate with each other, not that they were set to be married.
Madera, during her questioning of Alhasan, noted that strangling Ly would have required him to completely cut off her airflow for several minutes, including after she had lost consciousness. Had he stopped choking her as soon as she passed out, the prosecutor added, Ly wouldn’t have died.
Alhasan is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on Oct. 6. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
Oakland man free on bail in earlier shooting charged with murder near same retirement center
Defendant in East Bay homicide case gets 16 years behind bars
California report credits gun laws for drop in killings; rates differ sharply across Bay Area counties
Bay Area activist loses appeal of Oakland murder conviction after contentious trial
Man shot, killed by Colorado cop was holding a marker, not a weapon