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Man Accused of Stuffing Woman's Body in Suitcase Faces Her Family

By DNAinfo Staff on January 11, 2011 3:24pm

Hassan Malik, 55, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder on Tuesday.
Hassan Malik, 55, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder on Tuesday.
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DNAinfo/John Marshall Mantel

By Shayna Jacobs

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — The sister of a woman who was murdered and stuffed into a suitcase in East Harlem last month got her first glimpse of her sibling's alleged killer Tuesday, more than a week after relatives claimed the body from the morgue.

Yajaira Springe said her sister Betty Williams didn't stand a chance against the 6-foot 2-inch Hassan Malik, who weighs in at nearly 250 lbs., according to his Rikers profile.

"It was just shocking and upsetting," Springe said of her first look at the man accused of strangling Williams to death with an electrical cord.

Springe added that Williams, 28, had been claimed from the city morgue after a week and a half there.

"My mother went and claimed the body," said Springe, 30, who was present Tuesday as Malik, 55, pleaded not guilty to murder and probation violation charges in Manhattan Supreme Court.

She did not say why the family waited more than a week before claiming the body from the morgue.

Malik was on probation from a 2009 attempted robbery case when he allegedly murdered Williams inside his apartment on Dec. 22, stuffed her body inside a suitcase, and left it on the sidewalk near Rao's restaurant on East 114th Street.

Malik told police he strangled Williams with an electrical cord after hitting her twice in the back of the head with a frying pan during a violent dispute at his apartment, according to court documents. He is being held at Rikers without bail. He claimed Williams was staying with him at the time.

Sources said Williams had several prostitution and drug arrests on her record, but Springe denied Tuesday that her sister was a prostitute.

"She did have an arrest record, but she was not a prostitute," Springe said following Malik's court appearance.

Springe said she had no idea who Malik was and how her sister knew him. She said Williams was living in the Bronx at the time.

"How these two met, I don't know and we'll never know," she said.

Malik is next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 15.