TV executive sentenced to 25 years for beheading wife


A Pakistani former New York television executive has been sentenced to 25 years jail for beheading his wife. Watch Associated Press report account

The founder of a Muslim-oriented New York television station has been convicted of beheading his wife.

Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan stabbed and decapitated his wife, Aasiya Hassan outside the suburban Buffalo station in 2009.

Hassan acted as his own lawyer during the trial and never denied killing his wife, however the jury rejected his claim he was the victim of spousal abuse.

Throughout the trial, Hassan explored various psychiatric defences and fired three of his lawyers, replacing the fourth with himself.

According to Associated Press, Pakistan-born Hassan had been served with divorce papers the week before his wife’s death.

The Muzzamils

Her body was found on February 12, 2009 in the offices of Bridges TV, the television station Hassan and his wife set up to counter negative stereotypes of Muslims after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Hassan has been in custody since walking into his local police station and telling officers his wife was dead.

Police said there had been previous reports of domestic disputes involving the couple. Their two children, aged 4 and 6 at the time of their mother’s death, have been sent to live with family in Pakistan.

Hassan has written letters from jail insisting that he suffered from battered spouse syndrome and that he “broke down under years of abuse” in killing his wife. But Erie County Court Circuit Judge Thomas Franczyk told Hassan he had no doubt the killing was a “premeditated act of violence.”

“Justice demands that you receive nothing less than the maximum possible sentence,” Franczyk told Hassan, convicted by a jury last month.

Evidence presented during the trial showed that on Feb. 12, 2009, Hassan lured his wife Aasiya to the couple’s Bridges TV studio in Orchard Park, stabbed her more than 40 times with a pair of hunting knives, and beheaded her. A forensic pathologist testified that Aasiya Hassan may have been conscious when the beheading started.

That evening, she had promised her children she would take them to a restaurant for dinner, but would first have to drop off clean clothing for their father at the studio. Mo Hassan was barred by an order of protection from coming to the family home, and he had told his wife he would not be at the studio.

She didn’t know that he went to a local store to purchase hunting knives. Video showed him lying in wait in the darkened studio attacking his wife when she arrived. He was angry over her refusal to withdraw divorce papers she had just filed after years of abuse.

Ironically, the couple had created Bridges TV in an effort to debunk negative stereotypes of Muslims.

Under New York law, Hassan cannot receive a parole hearing until 2034.

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