BUFFALO, N.Y., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- As trial began Tuesday for a New York state man accused of beheading his wife, defense and prosecution disagreed about which spouse was the abuser.
In his opening statement, a lawyer for Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan, 46, told a jury his client had been abused for years by his wife and "snapped" when he thought she was about to kill him, The Buffalo News reported. Assistant Erie County District Attorney Paul Bonanno said Hassan had been abusing his wife Aasiya for years and planned her beheading as his "final act of domination and control."
There is no dispute that Hassan, who bought two hunting knives at a Walmart the day he killed his wife, committed the crime on Feb. 12, 2009. He immediately reported the killing to police in Orchard Park.
But defense lawyer Jeremy Schwartz argues Hassan's actions show he did not plan the killing and that it followed many "physical and psychological" assaults by his wife. He said earlier in the day Aasiya was killed she forced her husband at knifepoint to call a woman she believed he was having an affair with to end the relationship.
Bonanno said videotape from the Walmart will show Hassan planning ahead.
"You will see the defendant carefully examining the knives, testing their sharpness on a cardboard box and then calmly and deliberately buying them," he told the jury.