Accused wife beheader citing spouse abuse

Sept. 4, 2010 at 6:14 PM
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BUFFALO, N.Y., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Attorneys for a television executive charged with stabbing and beheading his wife can introduce evidence of "battered spouse syndrome," a New York judge ruled.

Prosecutors in the case against Muzzammil Hassan said the decision by Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk would force them to ask for a delay in the trial in the February 2009 killing of Aasiya Zubair Hassan, The Buffalo News reported Saturday.

Muzzammil Hassan has been in custody since the body of his wife was found in the studio of Bridges TV, the Muslim-oriented cable station the couple had co-founded five years earlier.

District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said he was infuriated at being forced to seek another delay because of "psychiatric hide-and-seek" by the defense.

Hassan's defense team said they had not wanted a delay.

"We never wanted a postponement," Julie Atti Rogers said. "We never intended this case to get pushed out into the new year. That being said, we are happy ... to have his doctor testify regarding the evaluation that she did and the diagnosis that she made."

Ana Natasha Cervantes, a Buffalo forensic psychiatrist, and Kenneth Corvo, a Syracuse psychologist, are ready to testify Hassan suffered from "spousal abuse syndrome," Rogers said.

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