Police: Katrina hero plotted ex-wife's murder

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A Syrian-born man who became the hero-rescuer in Dave Eggers' best-selling nonfiction "Zeitoun" book, which chronicled the eerie aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the nightmarish side of the American justice system, has been accused of plotting to murder his ex-wife, her son and another man.

Abdulrahman Zeitoun, 54, faces charges of offering $20,000 to a fellow jail inmate in exchange for the killings. Zeitoun (pronounced Zeh-toon) also faces a domestic abuse battery charge after he allegedly beat his wife, Kathy Zeitoun, on a New Orleans street.

In the "Zeitoun" book, he was described as a compassionate man paddling a canoe through Katrina's floodwaters helping people and animals before being arrested on false charges of looting. He then was thrown into prison on suspicion of being a terrorist.

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