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Judge allows beheading suspect to be own lawyer

BUFFALO — A former New York television executive accused of beheading his estranged wife has been granted permission to act as his own lawyer for the remainder of his murder trial.

In a reversal Monday, a judge allowed Muzzammil Hassan to take over as lead counsel from attorney Jeremy Schwartz. The two have been at odds over Hassan’s defense since the trial began in Buffalo last week. Schwartz will stay on to help.

Judge Thomas Franczyk initially denied Hassan’s request, but relented when Schwartz brought up their differences again Monday.

Hassan is accused of killing Aasiya Hassan inside the Muslim-oriented television station the Pakistani-born couple started to counter negative images of Muslims after 9/11.