View Full Version : Man accused of beheading wife to use psychiatric defense

09-19-2009, 01:28 AM
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A man accused of beheading his wife at the television station they founded to counter stereotypes of Muslims is likely to claim emotional distress was behind the killing in hopes of avoiding a murder conviction.

"They Start A TV Station To Counter Stereotypes of Muslims and he cuts off her head ? Who else Goes around cutting peoples heads off but the Muslims ?"

Muzzammil Hassan, 45, is scheduled to be tried in January on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of 37-year-old Aasiya Hassan. A psychiatric defense would allow jurors to find him guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter, according to Hassan’s attorney, who made his plans known during a pretrial conference Friday.

“Extreme emotional disturbance is not an insanity defense,” attorney James Harrington said afterward. “It’s related to the state of mind of the person at the time.”

Muzzammil Hassan had been served with divorce papers a week before his wife’s body was found stabbed and decapitated at the offices of Bridges TV in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park, where the couple also lived. Hassan was arrested after walking into the Orchard Park police station Feb. 12 and telling officers his wife was dead.

Assistant District Attorney Colleen Curtin Gable has said the prosecution’s case would be built on alleged admissions, forensic evidence and “strong motive evidence.”

On Friday, she asked Erie County Judge Thomas Franczyk to bar the defense from introducing psychiatric evidence, saying Harrington had taken months longer than he should have to reveal his trial strategy.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/man_accused_of_beheading_wife_to_7MSPes12L3VWHkQj9 XVfUM