Acanac News Sponsorship Fresh admission in Khairi trial 18 michele-mandel By Michele Mandel ,Toronto Sun First posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 08:26 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, November 01, 2012 07:47 AM EDT trial With disturbing hand motions, the eerily unemotional Khairi coldly demonstrated how he finally grabbed the knife from his angry wife and plunged it into her liver.
Credits: Police handout
With a straight face, he then looked at the 12 jurors and expected their sympathy, It would have helped, though, if he'd had the decency to at least shed a tear of regret for her - rather than for himself.
On trial for second-degree murder, the savage wife-killer told jurors his epileptic, diminutive wife Randjida had belittled him, beaten him and sworn at him with epithets no man could ignore.
Certainly no honourable Afghan man.
"She said my mother was a whore, she said my sister was a whore. She said I was a cuckold. She said I had no honour," he spit.
Speaking through a translator, the grey-haired Afghan immigrant then dropped a bombshell that seemed to take even his lawyer by surprise: For the first time since the slaying, Khairi suddenly claimed he'd killed Randjida because she came at him with a small kitchen knife during one of their fiery arguments on March 18, 2008.
"I basically lost my control. I saw the knife in her hand. I was so fearful. I was like a little child. I was so scared," he said of his wife, all 5ft1 and 86 pounds. "I don't know what happened to me on that day: the swearing and the coming towards me with a knife. She would have stabbed me."
Illiterate in his own language, unable to speak English, the former mechanic complained no one would hire him when they arrived here in 2003. When their welfare was cut, money became a frequent dispute between them. "When a man is not working, a woman doesn't have patience for him," he said.
Randjida was supporting the family on her disability cheque and would throw that in his face, he said. He claimed that on three occasions, he was held down by his oldest son and his wife beat him, hitting "like a woman", while he never raised his hand to her.
Until that fateful day more than four years ago.
"She said that I should go to work. ‘You don't have honour. Earn money,'" he recalled of screaming matches that marked the last three years of their 30-year marriage.
"She was fighting with me, swearing at me," he testified. "Such bad swear words that it was impossible to tolerate."
Contrary to testimony from his two daughters, he denied fighting with his six children over their adopting Western dress or with his engaged daughter about her sleeping at her fiance's home. The only family discord, he said, was with Randjida, whom he'd wed in Afghanistan at the urging of his disabled and barren first wife to bear his children and do the housekeeping.
But how troublesome she'd become.
With disturbing hand motions, the eerily unemotional Khairi coldly demonstrated how he finally grabbed the knife from his angry wife and plunged it into her liver.
"Did you cut her throat?" asked his lawyer, Christopher Hicks.
"Yes, I did. But not that much," Khairi added petulantly. "Not as much as the doctor was saying."
The pathologist testified the 53-year-old victim was almost decapitated when her throat was sliced through to her spinal chord.
Court has heard an admission that Khairi caused his wife's death by an unlawful act. His lawyer has built a case to blame the bloody massacre on his client's mental instability, that with a history of six suicide attempts and several psychiatric hospitalizations, the depressed man had mental health issues and never intended to kill Randjida that day.
But his rogue client seemed to undo that groundwork by suddenly invoking justifiable self-defence.
"You think of me as a murderer, as a criminal. I'm not," Khairi appealed plaintively to the jury. "I'm 75-years-old. Not one day have I been in a police station, not in Afghanistan, not in India."
He cried over what he's lost since his arrest: his life, his family, his car, his expensive rug he'd brought from Afghanistan. "I'm extremely remorseful, I'm extremely sorry," he wept.
But the only one Khairi seemed to be crying for was himself.