The rapist who killed his victim before she was set to testify against him was sentenced Tuesday to spend the rest of his life behind bars for the Jamaica woman’s violent death, the Queens district attorney said.
Hemant K. Megnath, 32, of 914 Hart St. in Brooklyn was convicted in March of the 2007 murder of Natasha Ramen, 20. Ramen, who like Megnath was from Guyana, was coming out of her house on the morning of March 15, 2007, when he came from behind her and slit her throat, DA Richard Brown said.
“This is a terribly sad and tragic case. The victim of this cowardly murder was a young newlywed whose husband is now a widower and whose mother is now heartbroken,” Brown said in a statement.
Megnath was awaiting trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court on charges of raping Ramen and was issued a restraining order shortly before the homicide. The case is still pending, according to the DA’s office.
Ramen used the blood from her wounds to write on a receipt “Call 911,” according to Brown. The DA said Queens Supreme Court Justice Robert Hanophy’s decision to sentence Megnath to life in prison without parole was justified.
“The defendant’s decision to kill a witness tears at the very fabric of our criminal justice system,” he said in a statement. “His sentence of life without parole should serve as a warning to others who would seek to silence witnesses that such actions will not be tolerated.”
The murder case used a new type of DNA analysis called “Low Copy Number,” which used results from examinations on smaller portions of DNA.
Investigators found DNA evidence in Megnath’s car and used LCN techniques to connect him to the slaying.
His lawyer tried blocking the use of the analysis, but the judge ruled in favor of the prosecution.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2010 Community News Group
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