A Los Angeles man has been charged with murdering his son for being gay, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Friday.
Shehada Khalil Issa, 69, was arrested Tuesday after police responding to 911 calls at the family's home discovered the body of Issa's wife and his 29-year-old son, Amir Issa.
The felony complaint includes a special allegation that Issa "personally and intentionally" shot his son "because of his sexual orientation." The investigation into his wife's death is ongoing.
It is "alleged that the murder was committed because of the victim's sexual orientation and because of the defendant's perception of that status and the victims' association with a person and a group of that status," a statement from the district attorney's office said.
Prosecutors said Issa had allegedly threatened to kill his son on prior occasions because he was gay, according to the D.A.'s statement.
“Despite all the civil rights victories we’ve had in the last few years, we still live in a society where people face violence or even murder for being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity,” the Los Angeles LGBT Center said in a statement Saturday morning.
Issa faces one count of willful, deliberate and premeditated murder.
He is being held without bail at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles, and his first court appearance is scheduled for April 11. If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.