Wrongful death trial ends in Tempe murder-suicide - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Wrongful death trial ends in Tempe murder-suicide

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Daniel, left, Yafit, Melissa, Matthew and James Butwin Daniel, left, Yafit, Melissa, Matthew and James Butwin

The trial has ended for the wrongful death of a Tempe woman killed by her husband in a June 2012 murder-suicide.

James Butwin killed his wife, Yafit, and their three children in the family's home in Tempe.  Authorities said Butwin then drove the bodies to a Pinal County desert area, set fire to his vehicle and committed suicide.

A Nebraska law firm represented Aisha Zrihan, the mother and sole heir of Yafit Butwin, in her lawsuit to recover from the estate of James Butwin for the wrongful killing of his wife.

Lawyers at the firm said the murder of the entire family should result in an award of punitive damages.

According to the divorce filings, the couple was still living in their home together, even though Yafit Butwin accused James Butwin of being abusive and his actions caused her and the children emotional harm.

Arguments over finances made up a large part of the court records in their divorce.

The two met in Israel, but before marriage, Yafit Butwin said she was forced to come to the U.S. and sign a prenuptial agreement.

Yafit Butwin argued because she did not speak or read English well she did not know what she was signing. Therefore, the prenuptial agreement should be invalid.

James Butwin was fighting for the prenuptial agreement not to be thrown out because it required him to pay her $250 a week in support. Yafit Butwin claimed that was not enough to sustain the household.

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