BUFFALO, N.Y. — A judge yesterday gave a former television executive the harshest punishment he could for beheading his estranged wife: 25 years to life in prison and a withering assessment of his character.
Muzzammil Hassan, who had claimed his wife abused him, stood with his head bowed as the judge told him his own children had nothing but contempt for him. He scoffed at the idea Hassan stabbed Aasiya Hassan more than 40 times and decapitated her because he was afraid.
“You bought two hunting knives, you tested them for sharpness, you laid in wait in a darkened hallway for your unsuspecting wife and you butchered her,’’ Judge Thomas Franczyk said. “Self-defense? I don’t think so.’’
Acting as his own attorney, Hassan, 46, spent four days on the stand, painting himself as a victim in an eight-year marriage filled with threats. He said God sent him the courage to kill his wife and that he felt as if he had escaped from a terrorist camp afterward.
Prosecutors countered with piles of medical and police reports showing it was Aasiya Hassan who was incessantly abused. The 37-year-old mother had filed for divorce a week before her death.
“I deeply regret that things came down to what they came down to,’’ Hassan said at his sentencing. “I truly wish there would have been some alternative mechanism.’’
A jury spent one hour deliberating before finding Hassan guilty of second-degree murder.