By Jeff Mays
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT— The man accused of killing a Bronx woman and stuffing her body into a suitcase missed a court appearance Thursday because he is in Bellevue Hospital, the Department of Corrections said.
Prosecutors say 55-year-old Hassan Malik hit Betty Williams, 28, twice in the back of the head with a frying pan before strangling her with an electrical cord and disposing of her body on an East Harlem street.
Prisoners are typically brought to Bellevue only if they are undergoing psychiatric evaluation. The DOC would not confirm that this was the reason Malik was brought to Bellevue.
Malik, who was on probation after pleading guilty to attempted robbery for an incident in Manhattan in January, was arrested by police Monday after receiving a tip that he matched the description of the man seen in the surveillance video dragging the suitcase near where Williams was discovered last week.
A passerby saw a leg sticking out of the suitcase outside of 435 E. 114th St. and called police.
Malik was arraigned on charges of second degree murder Tuesday. Grand jury action in the case was postponed until Jan. 11.
He lived on Pleasant Avenue, not far from where Williams' body was found.
Neighbors say they heard arguing and fighting for 45 minutes to an hour the night of the murder that came to an abrupt stop.
"I heard him walking heavy and heard her in her heels. I was awoken from sleep and I heard, 'No, Daddy, no!' and then a loud bang," said the neighbor, who declined to provide her name.
Another neighbor said Malik asked to borrow a mop and then gave away a small couch and footstool he said he no longer wanted. The Journal News reported that Malik was arrested Monday at a senior housing facility in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.