Bail denied for suspect in Stein murder

Report released from Medical Examiner
March 26, 2008 4:22:36 PM PDT
The woman accused of bludgeoning Linda Stein to death in her Fifth Avenue apartment was told by a judge Wednesday that she will remain behind bars. Bail was denied.

The decision came in spite of what Natavia Lowery's attorney says is mounting evidence that she is not the killer.

Eyewitness News reporter Sarah Wallace has the latest from the courthouse in Lower Manhattan.

There were lots of theatrics in court today as the lead prosecutor accused Lowery's defense attorney of grandstanding and not even having, "a pedestrian understanding" of a DNA report issued by the medical examiner's office.

To read the full forensic report, click here.

Prosecutors maintain they absolutely have the right person behind bars. For now, Lowery will stay there.

Escorted by several detectives, Stein's family dodged the media and left criminal court in tears. In contrast, hundred of Lowery's supporters were vocal. Members of her Brooklyn church wore matching T-shirts.

Her pastor, Michael Walrond, expressed the group's collective disappointment that a judge denied bail for Stein's pregnant former assistant.

"I don't think she's a flight risk," he said. "So to decline her bail, to me, doesn't make much sense. Not only is her family there, but we're there to hold her accountable as well. But we love her tremendously, and we're sad to see her in this state."

In court, defense attorney Ron Kuby raised the issued of a forensic report by the medical examiner, which found a blood sample of a mystery male's DNA mixed with Stein's in a bathroom sink at the murder scene.

The lead prosecutor countered that the DNA could have been left by any man who touched Stein's sink during the entire time that she lived in the apartment, and that it is insignificant.

"This was blood that was found in Linda Stein's sink the night that she was killed," Kuby said. "So you'd have to [believe] that she never cleaned her sink, and that doesn't appear to be the case."

Prosecutors continue to argue that Lowery's motive was financial, that she systematically stole money from her boss week after week and then pummeled her to death.

"Natavia does not deserve this," her mother, Lottie Lowery, said. "Natavia did not bring this to our door. The detective's brought this to our door."

She is referring to the defense's claim that detectives illegally obtained a confession from Lowery and that it should be suppressed. That very critical issued will be decided by a judge somewhere down the road.

To read the full forensic report, click here.