Man sentenced to life after beating girlfriend to death

Stacey Sager has the story from Kew Gardens.
April 15, 2014 5:22:32 PM PDT
A law school graduate was sentenced to life in prison without parole Tuesday after strangling and beating his former girlfriend to death inside their Astoria apartment in June 2012.

35-year-old Jason Bohn was convicted of first-degree murder after 27-year old Weight Watchers executive Danielle Thomas was found lying face up in the bathtub surrounded by bags of ice. Thomas had bruising on her forehead, face, shoulders chest and neck as well as lacerations on her body.

According to testimony, when police found Thomas' body, they found two handwritten notes. The first note stated 'It was an accident, I had been drinking, and I was drunk when I got home?she was already asleep?I woke up and there was fighting between us?when I woke up again, she was unconscious, I am sorry". The second note read, "Dani, I will love you forever".

The deadly violence erupted after Bohn demanded to know why Thomas had called a certain area code, testimony showed. A cellphone recorded Thomas begging for her life just before her death; her cellphone apparently had pocket-dialed a friend and recorded her dying words:

"This is your life," he told her.

"I know," she replied.

"Danielle, you don't have a lot of time," Bohn said, and then ignored her as she implored: "Jason, I can't breathe."

About two weeks before she was killed, the victim told police that Bohn had a history of hurting and threatening her.

Bohn called her while she was at the police station. A sergeant heard him saying "this was war" and vowing to "hunt her down like a dog in the streets."

Bohn was arrested that day and charged with assault and aggravated harassment; Thomas was granted an order of protection. "Those charges were pending at the time of Ms. Thomas' death," the prosecutor said.

In an unusual legal turn, Bohn's lawyers claimed that the murder was his mother's fault. Experts testified that he was traumatized when his mom abandoned him for her publishing career when he was 10 years old.

On Tuesday in court, Bohn spoke to his girlfriend's mother and grandmother.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.