View Full Version : NC: Assyrian Father Killed Wife, Children Seek Mercy

Truth Seeker
11-07-2005, 02:16 PM
Easley will hear the children's direct plea for mercy at a clemency hearing Nov. 8. I wish them the best!

Assyrian Father Killed Wife, Children Seek Mercy

Courtesy of the Associated Press
26 October 2005
Elias and Teresa's 3 daughters and son plead for their father's life.

(ZINDA: Raleigh)* The four children of Elias and Teresa Syriani once hated their father for stabbing their mother to death with a screwdriver. Now they're pleading for his life, convinced that executing him will bring them more tragedy.

"We just feel if this happens, we will be devastated," Rose Syriani, 28, said Tuesday when she joined her three siblings at the Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina to appeal to Gov. Mike Easley for mercy. "I don't know if we will get through this again."* "If this execution is carried out, we'll have two parents murdered," Rose told the audience. Her sister Sarah wiped a tear from her eye. "We've suffered enough," she said.

Elias Hanna Syriani, 67, is scheduled to die by injection on Nov. 18 for the death of his wife, Teresa Yousef Syriani. She was stabbed 28 times with a screwdriver while sitting in her car as their 10-year-old son tried to stop him.* This happened shortly after filing for divorce.** Teresa died 26 days later at the age of 40.

Born in Jerusalem, Elias was 10 when his community became part of the newly created state of Israel. Israelis imprisoned his father and released him to Jordan two years later. His family joined him
there, but after a mental breakdown in prison, the man never worked again.

Her then-10-year-old son, John, witnessed the July 1990 attack. He and his sisters, Rose and Sarah, testified against their father at his trial the following year.

But now they say it would be a travesty if the state executed Elias Syriani just as they have transformed their hate, anger and bitterness into forgiveness, reconciliation and love - guided, they believe, by their mother's spirit.
Elias Syriani is scheduled to die by injection on Nov 18th.

"Love is the work of God, and my mother was a loving and forgiving woman. So I know that came from her," said Sarah Syriani Barbari, 27, of San Francisco.

John, now 25, wrote to his father within a year of the killing and visited him once in 1998. The sisters eventually visited their father at Central Prison in Raleigh last year.

Easley will hear the children's direct plea for mercy at a clemency hearing Nov. 8.

Syriani's appellate lawyers said he may have abused and killed his wife because of trauma he experienced as an Assyrian Christian in Jerusalem.* Syriani's trial lawyer didn't hire a mental health expert who could have explained the abuse and argued that it had altered his mental state, say his appeals lawyers.

The Syriani children say their father has not pushed them to save his life. They started their campaign for mercy on their own.

11-20-2005, 02:10 PM
Death row inmate's children to speak

The four adult children of death row inmate Elias Syriani will speak on faith and forgiveness at two forums in Triangle area churches today and Wednesday.Elias Syriani is scheduled to be executed at 2 a.m. Nov. 18 for the 1990 murder of his wife, Teresa -- mother to Rose, Sarah, John and Janet Syriani -- in Mecklenburg County.
The Syriani children saw their father for the first time in a decade in the visitor's room Local & State Home ( / Local & State ( (
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Published: Nov 11, 2005 12:30 AM
Modified: Nov 11, 2005 03:26 AM

Killer's children plead for his life
They forgive him for mom's death Syriani, center, talks to reporters after she and her three siblings asked Gov. Mike Easley to commute the death sentence of their father, Elias Syriani, to life in prison.
Staff Photo by Juli Leonard ( Yonat Shimron, Staff Writer
Governors usually hear from murder victims' relatives who urge them to go ahead with executions. On Thursday, Gov. Mike Easley heard from four relatives who pleaded with him to spare the murderer's life.The children of Elias Syriani, who is scheduled to be executed next week, said they came on behalf of their dead mother, who they said would not have wanted her children to suffer more.
Syriani killed Teresa Syriani 15 years ago in Charlotte, stabbing her with a screwdriver.

11-20-2005, 02:20 PM
N.C. man executed for 1990 murder of wife
By ESTES THOMPSON,, Associated Press Writer
Elias Syriani was executed early Friday for the 1990 stabbing death of his wife despite the pleas of his four children, who sought clemency for their father.Syriani, 67, was pronounced dead at 2:12 a.m., said Pam Walker, a spokeswoman for the state Correction Department.

yet another killing in the name of suposed justice...