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Closing arguments near in decapitation murder case

By Neale Gulley

BUFFALO, New York (Reuters) - Closing arguments are expected on Monday in the second-degree murder trial of Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan, accused of stabbing and decapitating his wife in 2009.

Testimony continued into its thirteenth day on Friday as the couple's marriage counselor, David Myrow, took the stand, reading excerpts of his notes about the couple's marital struggles from numerous therapy sessions beginning in 2007 and taking questions from the defense and prosecution.

Myrow read passages in which Aasiya Hassan said her husband had hit her, while Hassan has throughout the trial claimed he was the one abused and that Aasiya, who had filed for divorce a week before the slaying, was overbearing and threatened to leave with his children.

"She feels like she tries to listen to her husband but he talks endlessly about his own pain and hurt," an excerpt from Myrow's notes in 2007 read.

"When Mo says his feelings, she feels attack at times," read another, from a different session.

During other talks with Aasiya, Myrow observed her to be "histrionic" which he described as "someone who can be very dramatic about expressing the way he or she feels."

For a time, the couple worked to correct their relationship, and things got somewhat better, according to Myrow's notes, though he also said Mo Hassan never saw his treatment of Aasiya as contributing to their problems.

Myrow read notes indicating Hassan had threatened to withhold her pay from the cable TV studio they had started to educate people on Islamic culture, and to take her passport, which she used to visit family in her native Pakistan.

Hassan is accused of stabbing and decapitating her with two hunting knives on February 12, 2009.

Erie County Court Judge Thomas P. Franczyk said he expects the jury to be handed the case on Monday.

(Editing by Jerry Norton)

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