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Convicted 'Suitcase Killer' Sentenced to 20 years in Prison

Hassan Malik in a court appearance on Jan. 11, 2011.
Hassan Malik in a court appearance on Jan. 11, 2011.
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John Marshall Mantel

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — The confessed killer of a Bronx woman found stuffed inside a suitcase on an East Harlem sidewalk in 2010 was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison.

"I'm sorry," Hassan Malik, 57, said, crying as Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon sentenced him for the murder of 28-year-old Betty Williams.

"I apologize to the family of Betty Williams, for what happened," said Malik, who pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter, which was reduced from his original charge of second-degree murder as part of a plea agreement.

When he was arrested, Malik admitted to police he strangled Williams with an electrical cord after hitting her in the head with a frying pan during a violent dispute at his apartment.

He claimed Williams, who he said was staying with him, struck him first and that he accidentally killed her while fighting back.

Malik was still on probation for a 2009 attempted robbery conviction when he killed Williams on Dec. 22. The 6-foot-2-inch Malik allegedly packed the much smaller victim into a travel bag on wheels and left it on the sidewalk near Rao's restaurant on East 114th Street.

The NYPD found Malik thanks to a tip because he matched the description of a man seen in a surveillance video dragging the suitcase near where Williams was discovered, police said.