Deadly Assault Caught On Cell Phone Video
A law school graduate has been convicted of first-degree murder following a seven-week jury trial for strangling and beating to death his former girlfriend inside of their Astoria apartment, prosecutors announced.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown identified the defendant as Jason Bohn, 35, of 33rd Street in Astoria, a graduate of the University of Florida law school. Bohn was convicted last Wednesday, Mar. 5, of one count of first-degree murder, one count of tampering with physical evidence and one count of firstdegree criminal contempt following a seven-week jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise
Sentencing is scheduled to take place on Apr. 2, at which time Bohn faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“The jury bravely listened to harrowing evidence-including a recording of the victim begging for her life as [Bohn] tortured and ultimately killed her-and correctly returned a verdict of first-degree murder finding that the defendant acted in an especially cruel and wanton manner pursuant to a course of conduct intended to inflict and inflicting torture upon the victim prior to the victim’s death,” Brown said in a statement. “The victim was a young woman who fought for her life until she was overcome by [Bohn]. He has justly been held accountable for his actions and it is likely he will spend the rest of his life in prison.”
According to the trial testimony, police were called to Bohn’s apartment on June 26, 2012 and discovered Danielle Thomas’s body laying face up in the bathtub surrounded by bags of ice. There was bruising on her forehead, face, shoulders, chest and neck, as well as lacerations on her face, mouth and chest.
According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the neck and torso.
When police discovered Ms. Thomas’s body, they also found two handwritten notes. The first note stated, in substance, “It was an accident … I had been drinking and I was drunk when I got home … She was already asleep … I woke up and there was fighting between us … When I woke up again she was unconscious … I am sorry.”
The second note read, in substance, “Dani, I will love you forever.” and was signed “J.”
According to trial testimony, Bohn’s deadly assault on Thomas was captured in a cell phone recording received by an acquaintance of hers in what is believed to have been an accidental dialing of the friend’s number.
In the recording, which was played at trial, Thomas is heard begging Bohn for her life as he strangles her, demanding to know why she had called a certain area code, and saying to her: “This is your life” to which she replies: “I know.”
Bohn continues to assault her, saying things like: “Danielle, you don’t have a lot of time” and ignoring her as she says, “Jason, I can’t breathe.”
According to the trial testimony, Thomas had gone to the 114th Precinct on June 7, 2012 to report an assault that had occurred a month earlier at which time Bohn had caused injury to her face and leg, and that he was harassing her by sending threatening e-mails and text messages.
While Thomas was at the precinct, Bohn called her cell phone and a police sergeant heard Bohn say, among other things, that ‘this was war, that he would hunt her down like a dog in the streets, and make her life impossible.’
Bohn was arrested that day and charged with assault and aggravated harassment. Thomas was provided with an order of protection. Those charges were pending at the time of Thomas’ death.
Assistant District Attorney Marilyn A. Filingeri of the Homicide Investigations Bureau and Senior Assistant District Attorney Patrick L. O’Connor of the Homicide Trials Bureau, prosecuted the case under the supervision, respectively, of Assistant District Attorneys Peter T. Reese, Homicide Investigations Bureau chief, Peter J. McCormack III and Richard B. Schaeffer, deputy bureau chiefs, and Assistant District Attorneys Brad A. Leventhal, Homicide Trials Bureau chief, and Jack Warsawsky, deputy bureau chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Charles A. Testagrossa and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.