Originally Mehdi Matin's 2009 murder of his brother Isa Mehri was described as an "honor killing." But by the time he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder yesterday, it had become clear that there was nothing honorable about it.
Matin's crime instead seems to be a classic crime of passion.
Matin, 63, told Snohomish County sheriff's homicide detectives he called off his marriage to an Afghan woman more than 20 years ago over an offensive remark his brother, Isa Mehri, made about his bride-to-be.
Matin, an Afghan immigrant, said he felt tortured by his decision for years. So when his brother, 60, repeated the remark in 2009, he clobbered his brother in the head with a metal pipe, prosecutors alleged.
Matin was accused of beating Mehri, strangling him with a rope and leaving the body outside for two days before calling 911.
Honor killings are generally thought of as planned murders, in which someone kills a member of their family or other social group over the perception that they have brought dishonor to the others.
Matin was certainly furious over what his brother had said about his former wife-to-be. But when he said the comment again, Matin snapped and bludgeoned him. Not really the sort of formal, "principled" killing that's often attempted to be excused as "honorable."
Honorable or not, Matin is now headed to prison for up to 18 years.