BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita and his team of prosecutors had plenty to say after Monday's guilty verdict in the beheading trial of Muzzammil Hassan.
It may have seemed to the general public that it was an open and shut case, but prosecutors never assumed that it would be a verdict easily handed to them, despite a mountain of evidence and witnesses to back their case. For four days, the prosecution went through 22 witnesses to prove that Muzzammil Hassan was not the victim he was claiming to be.
Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita said, "In his twisted mind, he really believes what he did was justified."
Prosecutor Colleen Curtin Gable was emotional during her summation. This is a case she's been working on since the night Aasiya was brutally killed.
"There comes a point, although you look at cases very clinically so that you can do your job, you do think of the victim, the person that she was, the person she could have been, the children she left behind and the person who did this to her. And it does bring out an emotional reaction in you; you can't help it," said Curtin Gable.
Prosecutors talked about how their case actually benefited from some of Hassan's cross examination.
Curtin Gable said, "Everything Dr. Horwitz said supported our theory of the case and the defendant was acting as though he was getting information that would benefit him."
Curtin Gable says it's the first time she was up against a pro se attorney. Hassan's inexperience and lack of courtroom etiquette showed, often frustrating the prosecution.
"Maybe I got a little heated at times, but I think he deserved it," said Curtin Gable.
Many people are wondering why the prosecution didn't seek a first degree murder charge. That's because in New York State, the charge would have to include an additional aggravating factor with an intentional murder charge, such as a contract killing.
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