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Last Defense Witness Appears to Support Hassan's Abuse Claim

7:11 AM, Feb 7, 2011   |    comments
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Hassan testifying in court on January 27, 2011; Photo Courtesy: Sharon Cantillon, Buffalo News.

BUFFALO, NY -  The Muzzammil Hassan murder trial is nearing the end.  The judge has dismissed the jury for the weekend.

Monday morning closing arguments start from both the prosecution and the defense.  For the first time in the trial, a live television feed will be allowed from the courtroom.  That means we will be streaming the closing arguments live here on wgrz.com.

After both sides close, the case will go to the jury for deliberation.  It is expected to be in their hands by the afternoon.

Read updates directly from the courtroom in our Reporter's Notebook.

The final witness for the defense took the stand Friday.  Dr. David Myrow is a psychologist who treated both Aasiya and Hassan.

This is the first witness, excluding Hassan, that appears to be giving testimony that supports the defendant's claim of abuse by the victim. 

Dr. Myrow testified about what Muzzammil reported to him about Aasiya's treatment toward him. He said, "Mo stated that 'I felt I could not be heard.'  It was relayed to me that when Mo tried to talk, Aasiya put him down and told him 'you're nothing but a sperm donor', that is what was relayed to me," said the doctor. 

The doctor testified that part of the treatment plan called for Aasiya to work on "not screaming and making threats."

The doctor also said on the stand that Muzzammil Hassan told him that he felt "dominated" by his wife.

Dr. Myrow's testimony revolves around the communication problems between the Hassan's. Muzzammil described their relationship as "I was a tanker and Aasiya was a speed boat."  The doctor took that as meaning Muzzammil was slow to change and Aasiya made changes easier. Hassan responded to the doctor's interpretation by saying "not quite."

One week before Aasiya's murder,  the doctor wrote in his notes that Muzzammil told him he had entered a 90-day silence and declined more couples counseling.

On cross-examination, the doctor told the jury that Aasiya did tell him that Hassan hit her "2 or 3" times, the doctor also said that Muzzammil never mentioned being hit by Aasiya.

The doctor then read from a session note, "she is afraid to leave for fear he will kill her or their children."

The judge expects both sides to finish closing arguments on Monday, and the jury will likely start deliberations Monday afternoon.

On Thursday, day 12 of the trial, three of Hassan's witnesses took the stand.

Dr. Thomas Dilamarter, Muzzammil and Aasiya Hassan's family doctor, testified that Hassan admitted to him that he hit Aasiya in the face.

The jury also heard from Bridges TV administrative assistant Christina Telesco.  Her testimony last only 20 minutes.  During her cross-examination, she described Hassan as "overbearing and bossy," and Aasiya as "nice and pleasant."

In the afternoon, Dr. Gary Horowitz took the stand.  He is the doctor hired by the prosecution to conduct a personality profile on Hassan after the Hassan team had stated they would be calling expert witnesses to back up his claims of being a battered spouse. 

Horowitz has already stated that Hassan is not suffering from battered spouse syndrome.

Hassan struggled to come up with questions, and Judge Thomas Franczyk told him he couldn't ask certain types of questions.

Hassan didn't touch on the results of the personality profile, instead asking broad questions about abusive relationships.

Wednesday was a day of rapid-fire cross examination by the prosecution.

WEB EXTRAS:

- Hassan Trial Reporter's Notebooks

- Mo Hassan Holding Center Interview

- Courtroom Images from Wednesday (2/2)

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