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Abdulrahman Zeitoun charged with soliciting ex-wife's murder

August 10, 2012|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • Kathy and Abdulrahman Zeitoun at their New Orleans home in 2009. Abdulrahman Zeitoun was charged Wednesday in New Orleans with soliciting the murder of his wife, his son and another man.
Kathy and Abdulrahman Zeitoun at their New Orleans home in 2009. Abdulrahman… (Michael DeMocker )

Abdulrahman Zeitoun was charged Wednesday in New Orleans with soliciting the murder of his ex-wife, son and another man.

Zeitoun was the hero of Dave Eggers' 2009 book, "Zeitoun," which chronicled his valiant efforts to provide assistance in the chaotic days following Hurricane Katrina, which were followed by his mistaken arrest and imprisonment. The book portrayed a happy marriage between Abdulrahman Zeitoun and his then-wife, Kathy, who are the parents of five children.

In recent years, their relationship deteriorated. She received a divorce earlier this year.

The New York Times reports, "In an interview with The New Orleans Times-Picayune, Ms. Zeitoun said the book had accurately portrayed their relationship at the time. But she said her ex-husband had since grown angrier and more violent and his Islamic views had become more 'radical.'"

Early this year, the Smoking Gun learned of a domestic abuse incident in Kathy Zeitoun's home. The police report described Abdulrahman Zeitoun as pushing Kathy to the floor and punching her in the head. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of "negligent injuring."

In July, Abdulrahman Zeitoun allegedly attacked Kathy on a public street, hitting her windshield with a tire iron and striking her with it after she exited her car. The Times-Picayune reports that "Kathy Zeitoun said he later punched and choked her before a bystander intervened."

Zeitoun was arrestd in connection with that incident on July 25. He has been in jail since that time. According to the Times-Picayune, "Detectives from the NOPD's domestic violence bureau received the information about Zeitoun's alleged plan" to have Kathy Zeitoun killed. New Orleans police did not release any information about Zeitoun's alleged plan.

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