A California man on trial for murder testified that he was high on drugs when he said he wanted the family of his ex-girlfriend dead.
Iftekhar Murtaza is accused of stabbing and beating his ex-girlfriend's father and sister to death, slashing her mother's throat and burning down the family's Orange County home in May 2007, according to Mail Online.
Fox News reports that the 29-year-old Murtaza told jurors he was upset when his then-18-year-old girlfriend Shayona Dhanak told him in March 2007 that her parents had threatened to cut her off financially and stop paying her college tuition if she didn't split with him.
He testified that he went home, took Ecstasy and started chatting online with a friend about how the couple had broken up and he wished her parents were dead. He said Dhanak said her mother, who is Hindu, had told her that his Muslim family came from a line of "beggars and servants."
Murtaza is alleged to have started planning a murder plot, which involved paying a friend $30,000 to assist him in killing Dhanak's parents, so he could be with her.
"I didn't want to kill them. It was just a figure of speech. I was frustrated, I was upset. I just wished they would accept me. It's almost like I am not human to them, based on the family that I was born into," Murtaza said.
Shortly after the murders, Murtaza was interviewed by police. The next day, prosecutors say he was arrested at an airport with a ticket to his native Bangladesh and more than $11,000 in cash. Two of Murtaza's friends have been convicted of the killings and one has been sentenced to life in prison.
If convicted, Murtaza could face the death penalty.