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Man sentenced for 1989 murder of grandmother – QNS.com

Man sentenced for 1989 murder of grandmother

A 54-year-old man has been sentenced in the strangulation death of his own grandmother inside her apartment in November 1989 based on DNA evidence he left at the scene.
Kenneth Robinson, 54, of 163-11 Foch Boulevard in Jamaica, was convicted of second-degree murder. He was sentenced by Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Buchter to 25 years to life in prison.
According to trial testimony, Robinson went to the second-floor apartment of his grandmother, Pauline Henninghan, at 14-01 36th Avenue sometime between the hours of 5:30 p.m. on November 4, 1989, and 9:15 a.m. on November 5, and manually strangled her. The victim’s body was later discovered laying in her apartment hallway with an electrical cord tied around her neck and fastened to a door knob, blood on her clothes and marks and abrasions on her scalp and nose.
At the time, NYPD Crime Scene Unit officers placed paper bags over the victim’s hands and taped the bags closed before removing the body to the morgue. As part of her autopsy, fingernail clippings from Henninghan’s left and right hands were taken and maintained by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
In March 2004, Robinson was being questioned by police on an unrelated matter when he agreed to a DNA test and forensic experts swabbed his mouth for saliva. At the same time, the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office performed an analysis of the human cells recovered from under Henninghan’s fingernails nearly 15 years earlier.
Robinson’s DNA profile was a match to the DNA profile obtained from under the fingernails. Evidence at trial also included a photo taken of Robinson on November 5, 1989, during an interview with police about his grandmother’s murder, which showed a scratch mark on his neck.

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