Trial opens for man in death of newlywed Iranian wife who came to Michigan as grad student

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HOUGHTON, Michigan — Lawyers have given opening statements in the trial of a newlywed accused of killing his Iranian wife after they moved to Michigan's Upper Peninsula so she could seek an advanced engineering degree.

Nima Nassiri is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Sanaz (SAH'-na) Nezami. His trial began Monday in Houghton County.

The 27-year-old woman died from severe head injuries in December, a few months after arriving in the U.S. from Iran. Her heart, lungs and other organs were transplanted to seven people.

At a June court hearing, a police officer testified that Nassiri admitted repeatedly striking his wife.

The Tehran native was preparing to start classes in January at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. She and Nassiri were married in Turkey.

He's a Los Angeles-area native.

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