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Man gets life for slaying Queens Village girlfriend

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A Manhattan man who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged girlfriend in Queens Village in October was sentenced Tuesday to 19 years to life in prison, the Queens district attorney's office said.

Joseph Strothers, 28, had already confessed to shooting 24-year-old Jodi Gideon in the neck inside her home at 227-49 Murdock Ave., according to the Queens DA's office.

Strothers made the confession three days after the shooting as he lay in Harlem Hospital, recovering from a botched suicide attempt. He pleaded guilty last month in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens to second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

"The defendant will now spend at least the next 19 years with a chance perhaps to reflect upon his violent and mindless crime," Queens DA Richard Brown said. "Hopefully, the long prison sentence will offer a measure of solace to the victim's family."

Gideon was found shot once in the neck by her 8-year-old daughter on Oct. 5 as the child was returning from a relative's house. Two days later, the defendant staggered into Harlem Hospital in Manhattan suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest - a wound caused by the same .25 caliber handgun he used to kill Gideon, a law enforcement source said.

Officers from the 105th Precinct rushed into Manhattan to interview Strothers at the hospital, where he confessed and was immediately placed under arrest.

Strothers, who lived at 2730 Eighth Ave. in Manhattan, previously had been arrested four times, twice on charges of selling drugs, a police source said. He had also been arrested on charges of assault as well as promoting gambling and loitering, the source said. His most recent prior arrest had been in April 2002.

A letter written by the victim's daughter, Amber, was read in court during Strothers's sentencing hearing, the DA's office said.

"Why did you hurt my mommy? You said you cared about me," the child wrote.

Reach reporter Alex Ginsberg by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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