A Richmond Hill woman will spend decades in prison for strangling her 9-year-old stepdaughter in a bathtub in August 2016, prosecutors announced Monday.
Shamdai Arjun, 55, was found guilty last month of second-degree murder after the jury deliberated for less than an hour before reaching its verdict. On June 3, she was sentenced to 22 years to life in prison.
According to trial testimony, an eye witness saw Arjun leaving the family’s home and getting into a car with her former husband Raymond Narayan and her two grandchildren at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 19, 2016. When the witness asked why the light was on so long in the bathroom, Arjun said that the child, 9-year-old Ashdeep Kaur, was in the bathroom taking a shower and was waiting for her father to pick her up.
The witness, who said that the bathroom light had been on since at least 3 p.m., called Kaur’s father and was instructed to break down the bathroom door. Once inside, the witness saw Kaur’s body in the bathtub.
Officers from the 102nd Precinct and EMS units rushed to the scene, however Kaur was pronounced dead at the location a short time later. A report filed by the Medical Examiner’s Office found that Kaur’s cause of death was manual strangulation.
“The defendant in this case goes beyond the tales of evil stepmothers. This defendant committed the unimaginable — she wrapped her hands around her stepdaughter’s little neck and squeezed the life out of her,” said acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. “The victim was an innocent child and just 9 years old. The Court has imposed a sentence that will likely guarantee this woman never sees freedom again. The sentence of the Court is more than warranted in this tragic case.”