Law school grad to spend life in NY prison for killing girlfriend

by Reuters
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 20:04 GMT

By Bernard Vaughan

NEW YORK, April 15 (Reuters) - A law school graduate was sentenced on Tuesday to spend the rest of his life in a New York prison for strangling a former girlfriend in an attack captured on a cell phone recording, the Queens District Attorney's office said on Tuesday.

"The defendant has been held accountable for his actions," District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.

He will not be eligible for parole.

In March, a jury convicted Jason Bohn, 35, of first degree murder and other charges over the death of Danielle Thomas, 27, who worked for Weight Watchers.

The recording of the attack was received by one of Thomas' friends, whose number is believed to have been accidentally dialed.

According to the district attorney's statement, a gasping Thomas could be heard begging for her life while Bohn demanded to know why she had dialed a certain area code. "Danielle, you don't have a lot of time," Bohn said in the recording.

Thomas' bruised body was found face up in an ice-filled bathtub after police were called to Bohn's apartment in the New York City borough of Queens in June 2012. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to her neck and torso.

Prosecutors said police found two handwritten notes from Bohn at the apartment, including one in which he wrote, "It was an accident," prosecutors said.

Bohn had been arrested for assaulting Thomas weeks before the murder.

Bohn received an undergraduate degree and master's degree from Columbia University and earned a law degree from the University of Florida, according to his lawyer, Todd Greenberg.

Greenberg said Bohn had sought to reduce the crime to manslaughter because he has "intermittent explosive disorder" induced by physical and mental abuse by his parents. Greenberg said he plans to appeal the sentence.

"Certainly this was a tragic case from both sides," Greenberg said. "Bohn, I still believe, is suffering from a mental disorder and I was hoping that the court would take that into consideration in the sentencing." (Reporting by Bernard Vaughan; Editing by Scott Malone)

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