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Muzzammil Hassan

It took a jury in New York just 50 minutes today to find Muzzammil Hassan guilty of second-degree murder for beheading his wife.

In February of 2009, Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan, who ironically established a TV network aimed at erasing Muslim stereotypes, went to a police station near Buffalo and told authorities his wife was dead.

He had decapitated Aasiya Hassan, his wife of nine years, and according to prosecutor Paul Bonanno, the knife he had used to behead her left marks on his office’s floor.  She had filed for divorce less than a week before.

The verdict followed a bizarre, three-week trial that saw Hassan defend himself, having dismissed a total of four attorneys, the last one being Jeremy Schwartz, earlier in the trial, and often go off on long rants in his own defense.

Hassan never once denied that he had decapitated his wife, but instead made the argument that he was a “battered spouse” and often feared for his life. At one point, he took the stand for about four days, spouting off often wild stories of his marriage.

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“All these people are hearing stories,” he told the jury. “They want you to believe stories are evidence. They have no witnesses.”

Hassan gave his own closing arguments Monday.

UPDATE: Hassan has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison

“Mr. Hassan has felt that throughout the tenure of his marriage, no one had listened to his side,” Schwartz told reporters after the verdict. “It was important for him in the two hours that he had for summation to get across his side and how he saw his marriage.”

Hassan was the founder and CEO of the network Bridges TV, which he said was first English-language cable TV network for Muslims in the U.S.  Hassan said he hoped the new network would offset negative stereotypes of Muslims following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  Aasiya Hassan acted as the network’s general manager.

Hassan listened quietly to the jury verdict today. He has the right to appeal after his sentencing.

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