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Hassan gets 25 years to life

Mo Hassan
Buffalo News Pool photoof Mo Hassan testifying
Mo Hassan

By Eileen Buckley & Ashley Hassett


Buffalo, NY – Muzzammil Hassan will spend 25-years to life in prison for the beheading of his wife Aasiya.

Erie County Court Judge Thomas Franczyk delivered the sentenced Wednesday telling Hassan his "refusal" or "unwillingness" to accept responsibility left him with no choice but to impose the maximum.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita described his view of Hassan in the courtroom Wednesday.

"And I was really taken with the defendants complete lack of emotion expect for a smirk," said Sedita.

Hassan briefly addressed the court voicing some regret.

"I deeply regret that things came down to what they came down to," said Hassan.

But the judge told Hassan he has warped view of reality.

"Having been through two failed marriages, you knew you had an out, a non-violent option. But instead of leaving, as you had done twice before, what did you do, we know what you did. You went out. You bought two hunting knives. You tested them for sharpness. You laid and wait in a darken hallway. You ambushed your unsuspecting wife and you butchered her. Self defense? I don't think so," said Judge Franczyk.

Sedita believes the sentenced was appropriate.

"When I look at this guy, I think he is a psychopath...I don't think he is a dumb man. I think he is a very intelligent man...but he has no sense of empathy, he perceives himself as the victim," said Sedita.

Hassan murdered his wife inside their own television studio, Bridges TV in Orchard Park in February of 2009.

Jurors found 46-year-old Hassan guilty of second degree murder early last month.

Some of those jurors appeared in court Wednesday to watch the sentencing. Some told reporters they were happy with the sentencing and believe Hassan got what he deserved.

Kelly Maccagnano and Linda Janiga said they appeared at the sentencing to support the victim.

"She was so brave. She almost made it. This is such brutality for a woman. What she went through. I think this will be will all of us forever," said the two jurors.

But for the District Attorney's office, this case will linger with appeals.

"And 12 years from this day we may still be doing appeals in this case. This is not going to stop, this is not going to end. He is going to try to paper us to death," said Sedita.

The judge also granted an order of protection for Hassan's two children, Sonya and Michael.

WBFO News producer Ashley Hassett attended the sentencing. The following excerpts are from her reporters notebook:

The first thing Judge Thomas Franzyck addressed was Hassan's representation. Hassan changed lawyers, again. Defense attorney E. Earl Key made a verbal agreement with Hassan to represent him. The judge made sure Keys knew that attorney Jeremey Schwartz knew the case better and Hassan made arrangements to pay him first.

Key requested to hold off on sentencing. Hassan asked for no cameras to be in court, but the judge denied the request saying that this is not the trial, this is sentencing and camera's are allowed.

The judge said "he has reached his limit." He says sentencing will continue with or without Hassan.

The judge then said "Mr. Hassan, I think you only were going to except the verdict you wanted to hear...Quite frankly Mr. Hassan, I don't think you can see yourself for who you really are."

Prosecutor Colleen Gable said Hassan deserves the maxim sentence. She presented letters from family members that state that Aasiya was the true victim in this case, even though Hassan still believes he is the victim. She said it was a "premeditated, cold and calculated act." Gable requested the protection orders from Hassan's two children saying Sonya and Michael wanted them. She asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence of 25 years to life with no parole..

Defense attorney Key, who is representing Hassan said they are opposing the protection orders.

The judge then issued his sentenced of 25 years to life with the orders of protection for the two children. The judge state that if Hassan attempts to contact his children, Sonya or Michael, additional punishment will happen.