New York prisoner accused of torture plot targeting prosecutor

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Stacey Sager has the details.

Authorities say a New Yorker serving a prison sentence for slaying the fiance of a woman he was infatuated with is accused of trying to hire someone to kidnap and torture the prosecutor who helped lock him up.

Chandran Nathan, an inmate at Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Ulster County, pleaded not guilty Tuesday on Long Island to a criminal solicitation charge.

It was 1993 when Nathan carried out a commando-style killing in Manahasset, firing off two dozen shots with a semiautomatic rifle and killing 20-year-old NYU medical student Shaleen Wadhwani. Nathan was obsessed with Wadwhani's fiancee, another student named Hema Sakhrani, who leapt to her death from her apartment building two days later.

Authorities say Nathan offered $10,000 to have the assistant district attorney who handled his case beaten and waterboarded. He allegedly wanted him to say Nathan's 1993 confession was coerced.

"This case is a reminder of the difficult and dangerous jobs that law enforcement professionals do every day," District Attorney Madeline Singas said. "We will continue to work to ensure their safety and those who attempt to tamper with our prosecutions will be held accountable."

Nathan, according to a tip received by the DA's office, allegedly planned to have a third-party, outside of prison, abduct the former prosecutor off the street, place him in handcuffs and assault him.

He allegedly requested that the former prosecutor be beaten about the body - but not around his face - and to be water boarded, if necessary. Nathan reportedly wanted the former prosecutor to give videotaped statements that a number of confessions he used in his career were coerced and tainted.

Authorities say Nathan also wanted the prosecutor to mention a number of cases he prosecuted so that it would not be known that Nathan ordered the kidnapping.

Nathan's attorney says his client should undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
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