Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan was convicted of second degree murder Monday in the stabbing death and beheading of his wife Aasiya inside their Bridges Television studio in Buffalo. It took jurors just an hour to reach a verdict in the case in which Hassan demanded court permission to represent himself.
Hassan admitted killing his wife, but claimed it was in response to years of abuse from her, and not because she threatened to divorce him because of his abuse of her.
The couple created Bridges to help improve the image of Muslims.
He called his wife "a crazy, lunatic, out of control person" and said she was abusive because she had been physically abused as a child. A running update from the News notes that, in two hours of closing argument, Hassan never talked about the killing itself.
Prosecutor Colleen Curtin Gable went through the killing in detail, including a review of a surveillance video that showed the violence. Hassan was the abuser, she said, and he carefully planned the murder.
Hassan is scheduled to be sentenced March 9. His self-representation has made the case a fascination for people in Buffalo, with the Buffalo News calling the trial "the wildest and weirdest case anyone in Western New York can recall." You can see excerpts of his closing argument here.
Meanwhile, the prosecution of an alleged honor killing is wrapping up in an Arizona courtroom. The state is expected to rest Monday in the murder trial of Faleh Almaleki, an Iraqi immigrant who ran over his 20-year-old daughter in 2009.
Prosecutors say Almaleki thought Noor Amaleki had grown too westernized. The defense claims it was an accident and Faleh Almaleki merely wanted to spit on her boyfriend's mother, who also was run over and suffered severe injuries.
Last week, police officials testified that after the incident, Almaleki told them that he meant to hurt his daughter because she had moved in with her boyfriend's family, whom he considered a "bad family." Noor had broken off an arranged marriage with an Iraqi cousin.