She was a 15-year-old student at San Antonio's Taft High School with a soft smile and dark eyes. Like most girls her age in Texas, she favored blue jeans. Unlike most girls her age in Texas, in 2017 she was promised in marriage to a man 10 years her senior, who would pay her parents $20,000 to take her as his wife.
But the Iraqi-born Maarib Al Hishmawi had no intention of marrying so young, least of all to a man so much older and whom she hardly even knew. She refused.
Her parents, who had moved to the United States from their native Iraq two years prior, were furious. They "choked her almost to the point of unconsciousness," said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar. They beat her with broomsticks. Her mother, 33-year-old Hamdiya Sabah Al Hismawi, threw hot oil on her body.