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A Queens jury heard details of how a Rosedale woman drove back from a barbecue in New Jersey only to walk into her home just as her sister allegedly beat her father to death with a metal pipe before turning on her in 2001.
Cambria Heights resident Lisa McClean took the witness stand in the trial in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens last Thursday against Renee Dasque, 39, a former Rikers Island guard who is accused of killing her father, Jacques, and beating her sister, Jeanine Dasque, 33.
Jeanine Dasque had been slated to testify against her sister as the prosecutions key witness, but she committed suicide in August.
McClean, a former neighbor of the Dasques, testified that she, her children and Jeanine Dasque were in New Jersey at a barbecue on July 7, 2001, hours before the early morning attack in the Dasque home at 249-11 147th Rd. in Rosedale, she said. The two headed home to Queens about 11 p.m., arriving at McCleans Cambria Heights home about 2 a.m., July 8, 2001, she said.
She helped me bring them (her children) into the house and we had stopped at a K-Bee toy store in New Jersey, and Jeanine helped me unpack the car," McClean said. I asked her if she wanted to spend the night because it was a long drive, but she said she was just going to go home.
But shortly after Jeanine Dasque got home, she ran out of the house covered in blood screaming for help just before 3 a.m. July 8, a neighbor said at the time.
When police arrived, they found Jacques Dasque, hog-tied in the basement of the house with a fractured skull, broken sternum and ribs, and bruises on his head, neck and arms, according to testimony from Sgt. Michael McGovern, who was a police officer at the 105th Precinct at the time of the attack. McGovern detailed the evidence collected at the crime scene, including hair and blood samples, two irons and a 6-foot piece of metal pipe believed to be the weapon used to attack Jacques and Jeanine Dasque.
McGovern also identified photographs taken at the Dasque home, including pictures of Jacques Dasques body.
This is the victims face, and you can see the rope going around his neck, through his mouth and down to his hands, he said.
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.
McClean, a former detective with the New York Police Department, visited Jeanine and Renee Dasque at the 105th Precinct after the attack, she said.
She had a bandage around her head, and she seemed distraught and upset, McClean said of Jeanine.
Renee, who was arrested in connection with the attack on Jeanine, was in a holding cell, and also appeared distraught, McClean said. Defense attorney Michael Fishman asked whether Renee Dasque was injured, and McClean testified she did not see any injuries.
Fishman, who was not available to comment on the case, has said Renee Dasque was home at the time of the attack, but she was hiding upstairs from what she thought was a fight between her father and her sons father.
Prosecutors had planned to use testimony from Jeanine Dasque as a substantial part of their case, but she committed suicide five months before she was due on the stand, a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Instead, Assistant District Attorney David Guy plans to use the statements Jeanine made to neighbors and police officers at the scene in lieu of her testimony.
Guy was expected to rest his case this week, he said. It was unclear how long the defense case would last.
Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2004 Community Newspaper Group
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