The Trial Continues in the Case of Local Man Accused of Beheading his Wife

January 19, 2011 Updated Jan 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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January 19, 2011 Updated Jan 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM EDT


The trial for Muzzamill Hassan who accused of beheading his wife Aasiya in February of 2009 began Tuesday with opening statements from the prosecution and defense. Both side claimed their client was the "real" victim in the case.

The prosecutor said that Hassan lured his estranged wife Aasiya to the TV station that the couple owned in Orchard Park the night of the murder. Aasiya went inside to drop off clean clothes for Hassan who said he would not be there. Instead, prosecutors said Hassan was waiting for her in the dark. They said he allegedly stabbed her 40 times, the entire murder taking 47 seconds.

At the time of the murder, Aasiya had a restraining order against Hassan and filed for divorce just six days earlier. The prosecutors said the divorce came after more than a decade of abuse Aasiya suffered at the hand of Hassan.

The defense painted an entirely different picture. They said earlier in the day before her murder, Aasiya pulled a kitchen knife on Hassan threatening to kill him. When she got to the TV station, Hassan feared for his own life and began stabbing her in self-defense.

The defense attorney claims that Aasiya abused Hassan for years and filed for divorce because she was violently jealous.

In court, four witnesses also took the stand including the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Aasiya. He said that she might have still been alive when she was decapitated. The examiner also said there were signs of defense wounds on her hands and body.

Another witness was an Orchard Park Police Lieutenant that met Hassan directly after the murder. He made a statement about how calm Hassan's demeanor seemed to be when he told the officers Aasiya was dead and when he showed them to her decapitated body.

The trial started with the necessary 12 jurors and four alternate jurors picked last week. There were three people dismissed yesterday. Court officials said this could become a problem. They explained that if the number of jurors goes below 12, the case could be declared a mistrial.

The second day of the trial will begin at 9:30 this morning.

Channel 7 will have live updates throughout the day. You can also follow the trial right her on wkbw.com.