BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The founder of a local Mulsim TV network, who is charged with beheading his wife, claims he was a battered spouse.
Muzzammil Hassan of Orchard Park now has a new attorney who is taking an aggressive approach to the case.
"We're confident we're going to be able to secure an acquittal in this case," said Frank Bogulski, Hassan's attorney.
Attorney Frank Bogulski says Muzzammil Hassan will pursue a "justification" defense in the beheading of his wife Aasiya, that Mr. Hassan was a victim of his wife's behavior.
"My client was the victim of years of abuse from his wife. So it is a battered person defense that we will be zealously advocating on behalf of Mo Hassan," said Bogulski.
Not surprising says Julie Doerr, of the Family Justice Center, which deals with victims of domestic violence.
Julie Doerr of the Family Justice Center said, "That's not an uncommon thing for an abuser to do, is to try and incriminate the victim, as his or her own defense."
Hassan has been charged with beheading his 37-year-old wife Aasiya soon after she filed for divorce. Her body was found on February 12th in the Muslim TV network offices in Orchard Park.
Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita told me his reaction to Hassan claiming he was the battered spouse.
"The so-called 'battered spouse,'" said Sedita, "is indicted for chopping his wife's head off."
Domestic violence cases often involve control, says Julie Doerr. "It's desperation. It's another form of control that the abuser is trying to exercise over his victim."
Bogulski said, "He was the victim of his wife. She was verbally abusive. She humiliated him on numerous occasions, and this is going to be a revolutionary defense in the State of New York and in the United States of America."
But right now, Erie County Judge Tim Franczyk is not allowing Hassan to use a defense based on emotional disturbance.
That legal move was required to be made by Hassan thirty days after his arraignment on second-degree murder charges. Almost a year has gone by and the judge is concerned about further delays.
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