Renee Dasque, 38, of 249-11 147th Road in Rosedale, cried before she received the sentence and continued to insist that she was hiding while her father and sister were beaten with a 6-foot metal pipe in July 2001.
"I didn't do anything that day but hide and be a coward," she said. "I have to live with that for the rest of my life, that I didn't help my father and sister when they screamed. If you want to convict me, convict me of being a coward."
Dasque, a former officer with the Department of Corrections, was convicted Feb. 9 in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens of attacking her father, Jacques Dasque, 63, in the basement of their Rosedale home before turning on her sister, Jeanine Dasque, 33.
Renee Dasque maintains that she hid in a cabinet upstairs when she heard her father and sister fighting with an attacker.
"My father loved me and I loved him," she said. "I did not kill my father."
But Renee's younger sister, Janice, argued with her as she made her statement, telling her to face up to her actions.
"My father didn't deserve to suffer the way he did," Janice Dasque said. "He was hit 49 times, hog-tied, treated like a dog. You can't take responsibility for what you did."
Jeanine Dasque raised the alarm after the incident when she ran screaming from her house about 2:30 a.m. on July 9, 2001, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. A neighbor called 911 and as police arrived they found Jacques Dasque hog-tied in the basement of the house with a fractured skull, broken ribs, a broken sternum and bruises on his head, neck and arms, according to trial testimony.
Jeanine, who needed 80 stitches, told officers and neighbors that her sister Renee, who was on medical leave from the Corrections Department, had attacked her, but she did not implicate her in the death of their father, officials said.
Jeanine Dasque was slated to testify against her sister as the prosecution's key witness, but she committed suicide in August.
Prosecutors argued that the attack was an attempt to take control of her father's assets, which included a savings account, a life insurance policy, stocks, two houses in Queens and a house in Florida, Brown said. The assets were valued at more than $1 million, he said.
It was unclear how Jacques Dasque, a retired hospital technician, amassed his wealth.
Judge Shari Roman, who presided over the trial, sentenced Renee Dasque to 25 years to life in prison, calling the attack "planned and methodical."
"The sentence imposed today justly punishes the defendant for her crime of murder, bloodshed and greed," said DA Brown. "The defendant killed her father by beating him to death with a pipe and assaulted her half sister in a failed attempt to kill her so that she would become her family's sole survivor and receive the properties, bank accounts, insurance policies and stocks valued collectively at over $1 million. Her half sister survived a savage attack only to tragically take her life two years later."
Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at news@times
©2004 Community News Group
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