Mohammad Hanafi Beat, Drugged, Tasered Wife, Until She Signed Divorce Papers, Prosecutors Say

Mohammad Hanafi's mug shot (KCAL-TV CBS 2)
Mohammad Hanafi's mug shot (KCAL-TV CBS 2)

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) A Hawthorne man who allegedly bound, drugged, beat and tasered his wife until she signed divorce papers could face life in prison if convicted.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday in Mohammad Hanafi's attempted murder trial. The Superior Court jury will decide whether to convict the 58-year-old of torturing his estranged wife, Raisa Hanafi, in 2008.

Another man, Kisasi Liggins, is also accused of torturing Raisa Hanafi and beating another man, a former business partner, after the man sued Mohammad Hanafi for $750,000. The defendants allegedly held the man captive in 2006.

Prosecutors said the woman was held at homes in Hawthorne and Los Angeles for five days before escaping.

Mohammad Hanafi and co-defendant Kisasi Liggins are charged with 14 counts involving both incidents - including attempted murder, kidnapping for extortion and torture.

Raisa Hanafi testified during the trial that her husband and Liggins came to her bedroom, forced her to take pills, beat her and smothered her face.

The men also discussed killing her by cutting her up and feeding her to dogs, throwing her into the ocean, shooting her or poisoning her, the woman testified.

She said the men also shocked her with a taser to get her to sign divorce papers, and made her tell them about a buried key to her bank safety deposit box, from which Mohammad Hanafi allegedly removed the couple's passports, jewelry and money.

In closing arguments Tuesday, Hanafi's attorney acknowledged his client drugged and bound the woman but denied he tried to kill her.