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Upstate TV Exec Gets 25 Years To Life For Beheading Wife

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A former Upstate New York television executive was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison for the brutal murder of his wife.

In the end, he expressed deep regret for viciously stabbing and beheading her, but that wasn't enough for the judge.

"You ambushed your unsuspecting wife, and you butchered her," Erie County Judge Thomas Franczyk said.

Judge Franczyk had little sympathy for Muzzammil Hassan, slapping him with the maximum sentence. A jury spent just one hour deliberating before convicting him of second-degree murder in the 2009 death Aasiya Hassan.

"You are hereby sentenced to an indeterminate term of 25 years to life in prison," he said.

Hassan and his wife, Aasiya, founded the Muslim-oriented station "Bridges TV" to help combat negative cultural stereotypes.

Hassan took his wife's life inside the Orchard Park station in February 2009.

"We know what you did – you went out, you bought two hunting knives, you tested them for sharpness, you laid in wait in a darkened hallway," Judge Franczyk said.

Hassan claimed he killed his wife in self-defense. He told the court that he was the victim in a stormy, eight-year marriage filled with violence and threats.

Prosecutors, however, showed piles of medical and police reports showing it was hassan's wife who was constantly verbally and physically abused.

Some of the most telling testimony came from Hassan's own children. The judge read back the words of his daughter, Sonya.

"She said, 'his selfishness has directed our lives since they began, and his selfishness is the reason for our current state in life,'" Judge Franczyk said.

Hassan also claimed he killed his wife out of concern for their children.

"How ironic is it that your two little ones are now without their father and their mother, and they're a world apart from their elder siblings?" Judge Franczyk said.

Some speculated that the murder was a religious honor killing.

The Erie County district attorney said members of the Muslim community urged him to stress that the killing had nothing to do with religion. He said the brutal murder was strictly a case of domestic violence.

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