Jam. man gets 20 years for killing girlfriend

Collin Ballah Photo courtesy Queens DA's office
By Ivan Pereira

A Jamaica man was sentenced Monday to two decades in prison for killing his girlfriend and dumping her body in the Delaware River, the Queens district attorney said.

Collin Ballah, 38, of 97th Avenue, pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month in the death of Farisha Rahamult-Ali, who was the mother of a 9-year-old boy, Queens DA Richard Brown said. Ballah lied to the police when he reported Ali was missing and claimed he was with her when she was last seen at her Richmond Hill apartment, according to the DA.

In reality, he killed her and with the help of a relative put her body in garbage bags, traveled to New Jersey and dumped her body in the Delaware River, Brown said.

“In admitting his guilt, the defendant acknowledged that he was responsible for violently taking the life of a woman he once professed to love and, in the process, has left a young boy to grow up without his mother,” the DA said in a statement. “The imposed prison sentence reflects the gravity of his offense, and he must now accept the consequences of his decision.”

On Oct. 27, 2009, Ball reported to the police that his girlfriend was missing and told investigators that the couple and her son, who was 9 in 2009, entered her residence between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m, three days earlier the DA said. He claimed she was going to meet with someone in New Jersey the next day, according to Brown.

The individual who Rahamult-Ali was going to meet with never saw her that morning and surveillance footage showed she entered her apartment alone between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Oct. 25, 2009, Brown said.

The DA said Collin Ballah spoke with his cousin Brian, around 10 a.m. that day and asked him for help in disposing of a body that was in the trunk of his car. Over the next day, the two traveled to New Jersey to dispose of her corpse, which was wrapped in garbage bags and a laundry bag that had been in her apartment, according to the DA.

A kayaker discovered her body a few weeks later, the DA said. The New Jersey Medical Examiner ruled her death “was caused by homicidal means, not excluding asphyxiation,” the DA’s office said.

The Ballahs were eventually arrested and Brian pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution Jan. 24, Brown said.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Buchter sentenced Collin Ballah to 20 years in prison for his role in the crime, the DA said. Brian Ballah is scheduled to be sentenced April 28, Brown said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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