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Littlejohn gets 25 to life in kidnapping of York College student

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A Queens Supreme Court judge showed no leniency when he sentenced Darryl Littlejohn to 25 years to life in prison Wednesday for impersonating a law enforcement officer and kidnapping a York College student on her way home from school more than three years ago.

The 44-year-old Jamaica man, who is also awaiting trail in Brooklyn in the rape and murder of a John Jay College student, was dressed in a navy suit and silent as Judge Gregory Lasak issued his punishment for his convictions on kidnapping, assault and robbery charges. Lasak chastised Littlejohn, who has had five earlier convictions since 1980, for ruining 22-year-old Shanai Woodard’s life when he handcuffed her and threw her into his van on Oct. 19, 2005.

“Every time you’ve come into this court, you behaved and acted like a gentleman. I never saw the side of you as you as seen on your rap sheet. To me, that is the typical sociopath,” the judge said.

Woodard was walking near 107th Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway service road following a day of classes at York College when she was approached by Littlejohn who was dressed in a law enforcement uniform, and belt with a gun and pair of handcuffs. Littlejohn, who worked as a bouncer at the SoHo club The Falls, asked the student for identification and then cuffed her behind her back and threw into a blue van.

As the Jamaica man drove, the victim tried to escape through the door, but Littlejohn punched her in the head and ordered her to stop. Woodard, who took the stand against her attacker and identified him during the two-week trial in October, didn’t listen, and a few minutes later, she was able to unlock the door and open it, jumping out of the moving vehicle to safety.

In March 2006, Woodard recognized Littlejohn from television reports of his arrest in connection with the murder of Imette St. Guillen, a John Jay College graduate student who was patron of the Falls, and immediately notified the police.

The victim, who has since left college, gave an emotional statement to the judge before he issued his sentence.

“Why did you do this to me? I didn’t do anything wrong,” she said as she broke down into tears.

Woodard’s trial testimony wasn’t the only piece of evidence that helped convict Littlejohn on Oct. 23. Investigators said they found the bouncer’s DNA on the handcuffs used to manacle the student and they found her DNA inside his blue conversion van.

Littlejohn’s attorney Jason Russo said he would appeal the convictions because his client’s reputation was tarnished due to the heavy media coverage of the St. Guillen case. Russo was denied a change of venue request before the trial began.

“He had a scarlet letter already on his chest,” the lawyer said.

Judge Lasak reminded Russo that many of the jury members said they had not heard about the St. Guillen case when they were pooled and the conviction stemmed from the evidence.

This article has been corrected since its first publication.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 6:34 pm, October 10, 2011
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