Judge: Beheading case lawyer must stay

BUFFALO, N.Y., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A judge refused Thursday to allow a New York state man charged with beheading his wife to fire his lawyer and represent himself.

Muzzammil Hassan was allowed to leave the courtroom in Buffalo and watch the proceedings by audio and video feeds, WNED, Buffalo, reported. Judge Thomas Franczyk refused to allow Hassan to return to jail while the trial is in session.


Jeremy Schwartz is the fourth lawyer to represent Hassan since he was arrested in February 2009.

Hassan, 46, a former executive with Bridges TV, reported the killing to police, saying he stabbed his wife, Aasiya, 37, in his home television studio in self-defense. He says he was an abused husband and feared for his life.

Prosecutors say he was the abuser and that he killed his wife because she was going to divorce him.

Schwartz told the judge his relationship with Hassan is becoming "increasingly difficult." The argument about Hassan's lawyer delayed the start of testimony Thursday.

"It's not an ideal situation but I have the information that is necessary to question the witnesses and I'll proceed just as any other trial," Schwartz told reporters.


The trial is scheduled to resume Monday.

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