The district attorney’s office said Shehada Issa, 69, had allegedly threatened to kill his 29-year-old son, Amir, in the past because he was gay.
“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,” prosecutors said in a statement.
Issa was arrested Tuesday after Los Angeles police officers found the young man’s body outside a North Hills house. Issa’s wife was found stabbed to death inside the house.
Detectives said Issa told officers he found his wife’s body in a bathroom. He said he shot his son in self-defense because the young man was threatening him with a knife.
“He claimed (the son) was armed with a knife, and there was no knife to be found (there). It was a horrible family tragedy,” Detective John Doerbecker told the Daily News after Issa’s arrest.
An investigation into who killed Issa’s wife is ongoing.
Issa is being held without bail pending his arraignment on April 11.
He faces life in prison if convicted of the charge.
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