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Man confessed to killing woman found in suitcase, authorities say

From Jason Kessler, CNN
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Suspect linked to body in suitcase
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Man has confessed in death of woman found in suitcase, authorities say
  • NEW: Hassan Malik, 55, was arraigned Tuesday on a count of second-degree murder
  • NEW: Malik said he was acting in self-defense, DA spokeswoman says
  • DA spokeswoman: He admitted bludgeoning and strangling Betty Williams 28

New York (CNN) -- A man arrested in connection with the death of 28-year-old Betty Williams, whose body was found in a suitcase, has confessed to bludgeoning her with a frying pan and strangling her with an electrical cord, authorities said Tuesday.

Hassan Malik, 55, was arraigned Tuesday on one count of second-degree murder, according to Manhattan District Attorney spokeswoman Joan Vollero.

Malik said he was acting in self-defense, Vollero said.

Shortly after Williams' body was discovered, police released a surveillance video that showed a man dressed in a dark knit hat and leather jacket, pulling a suitcase that contained Williams' body near a stoop in East Harlem, New York.

Malik originally told police that he found Williams dead inside his apartment, but later he recanted the statement and confessed, according to the criminal complaint.

As police were leading Malik away, a reporter asked, "Are you sorry for what you did?"

New video in suitcase body case

"Yes," he replied.

The New York Medical Examiner's office said Williams had suffered, among other injuries, blunt force trauma to her head and asphyxiation, the complaint said.

Malik was being held on $100,000 bail and is set to appear in court Thursday, Vollero said.

If convicted, he could face 25 years to life in prison.

CNN's Kristen Hamill contributed to this report

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