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Schwartz: Hassan testimony has shown 'marked change of pace'

BUFFALO -- Prosecutors could begin their cross examination of Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan as early as this afternoon, Hassan's legal advisor told reporters at Erie County Court.

Attorney Jeremy Schwartz told reporters during a lunch break in the murder trial that it is a possibility that Hassan could wrap up his direct testimony this afternoon.

Hassan spent the morning describing the events of 2008 and had reached the week of Jan. 23, 2009, before the jurors were given a lunch break. Aasiya Zubair Hassan was murdered Feb. 12, 2009.

Schwartz did not speculate as to why Hassan had sped up his testimony this morning compared to previous days.

"What exactly affected his change of pace -- maybe he's just simply getting more used to it," Schwartz said. "I can't say specifically, but there definitely was a marked change of pace today."

Schwartz said the amount of time Hassan has taken to describe his side of the story is "relatively small" compared to his potential sentence.

"He's obviously taken a lot of time to do it, but in the event that he's convicted, the People are going to ask for him to serve a sentence that will amount to possibly the rest of his life in jail," Schwartz said. "So the amount of time he spent so far is relatively small in comparison to the ultimate punishment that they may ask for."

Listen to Schwartz's comments to reporters during today's lunch break: 

--Denise Jewell Gee

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