Mo said he was sorry.
Less than 30 minutes before Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan repeatedly stabbed and killed his wife, Aasiya, he exchanged a series of text messages with her, telling her he recognized his mistakes and would change for her.
"Sorry for hurting you," he texted her around 5:30 p.m.
"I am sorry, too," Aasiya replied.
Hassan sent his wife the messages from a darkened office at their Bridges TV studio where he waited for her with shiny new hunting knives with 5 3/4 -inch blades, according to prosecution testimony and evidence.
"I cannot carry on without you and the family," he texted. "I have not done anything to hurt you since Sunday, since I saw my mistake You are important to me and worth changing for."
At 5:42 p.m., he sent her his last text message.
"I am a good man, Aasiya," he wrote. "A good and decent man. Please don't punish me so hard. God like [sic] forgiveness."
Aasiya arrived with her children at the studio parking lot in Orchard Park 10 minutes later. A few minutes after that, she lay on her back in a darkened hallway, dead.
The prosecution rested its case after calling five witnesses Wednesday, including records custodian Jeff Strohm from Sprint Nextel Communications. He confirmed the veracity of text messages sent between Hassan and his wife shortly before her death and read them to the jury.
He started by reading a text exchange between the couple on Feb. 10, 2009, two days before her death. Hassan, subject to an order of protection after having been served with divorce papers the day before, was staying at a Clarion Hotel.
Between 10:57 p.m. and about 11:50 p.m., he sent her 18 text messages, most of which sounded conciliatory as he pleaded with her to call him and give him "just two minutes."
He started by telling her, "I have been supportive of you all day. If I fell into 'fixing' you, let me know nicely so I can stop my wrong action."
His text messages then grow more desperate.
"Aasiya, please don't do this to me," he texted around 11:30 p.m. "You have known me 10 years. Give me some credit. I will remain worried all night and will not get any sleep."
Two minutes later: "Aasiya, not talking increases negativity. I have been so good all day. Please at least give me a chance to go to sleep peacefully."
Aasiya responded to this: "Mo, I know, but it is time both of us let go. Please do not make it more difficult for both of us."
Prosecutor Paul Bonanno then had Strohm read from the text messages sent between Hassan and his wife the day she was killed.
At 5:18 p.m., Aasiya asks her husband if he could leave his car door unlocked so she could drop off the clean clothes he had requested.
He responds that he has left the office. What he doesn't tell her is that less than 10 minutes earlier, according to prior testimony, he had just finished buying two hunting knives at the Hamburg Walmart and was driving back to the office to await her arrival.
When she asks if he would like her to drop off his clothes at his studio office, he says yes and asks when she will arrive.
Then the apologies and the killing began.
All in all, the prosecution called 21 witnesses in the first six days of trial.
The defense begins its case today, with the possibility that Hassan will take the witness stand.
Prosecutor Colleen Curtin Gable closed the prosecution's case with Sarah Murrin, a forensic serologist from the Erie County Central Police Services laboratory, who testified that the overwhelming amount of blood found at the scene and on Hassan came from Aasiya.
When Murrin testified that a Band-Aid removed from one of Hassan's fingers actually contained more of his wife's blood than his, Curtin Gable couldn't resist.
"Is it fair to say that, literally, he had her blood on his hands?" she asked.
"Yes," Murrin responded.
Before and after the jury heard testimony, Hassan shocked the prosecution by asking that his wife's full divorce affidavit and additional medical records and police complaints not entered into evidence by the prosecution be entered as defense exhibits.
"You want to present more evidence of your own bad acts?" asked Erie County Judge Thomas Franczyk, referring to the material, which most people would consider damning in a domestic violence/murder case.
Hassan asked that orders of protection and police complaints filed by Aasiya against him, regarding at least 14 different incidents of alleged abuse, be entered as defense evidence.
He also asked that about 40 of Aasiya's medical reports be entered as evidence. The prosecution suggested that perhaps all her medical records should be entered into evidence.
Hassan agreed. He then asked if he could submit all of his medical records as defense evidence as well.
"Sure," Curtin Gable said.
He also asked to submit eight reports filed against him by Child Protective Services. The prosecution asked for more time to review.
Curtin Gable had started the court proceedings Wednesday by suggesting that just a small part of Aasiya's divorce papers be entered into evidence, with redactions, sensitive to the potential objections that might be lodged by the defense because the divorce papers include a lengthy statement by Aasiya chronicling a long history of abuse at the hands of her husband.
When Hassan responded that he would like to see much more of the divorce affidavit entered into evidence, Curtin Gable was nonplussed.
"I'd love the whole thing to come in," she said. "I was just trying to be fair."
As with each of the last two days in which Hassan has been serving as his own lawyer, he was met with frequent objections by the prosecution. He made unsupported references to death threats by Aasiya and affairs he may have engaged in with three different women.
Claims he made on Tuesday about Aasiya killing her brother appear to be unfounded. The News contacted Aasiya's sister, Asma Firfirey, in South Africa Tuesday night. She said their family has always had only one brother, and he is still living.
Through his legal adviser, Jeremy Schwartz, Hassan has issued subpoenas to a number of witnesses, including psychiatric professionals who have made it clear that they have no intention of appearing as defense witnesses.
Franczyk told Hassan before wrapping up for the day that he should do some legal research on whether a defendant in a criminal case can subpoena experts to testify for the defense against their will.
With many witnesses apparently subpoenaed to testify on Friday, Hassan said that if he doesn't have other witnesses ready to testify today, he will take the stand as a witness.
Schwartz was later asked why Hassan would want documents that refer to "bad acts" by Hassan entered as evidence.
"Mr. Hassan has always said that he's very interested in not just some things coming out, but he wants everything to come out," he said. "And whether some things are called 'bad acts' or something else, he wants it all in."