Boyfriend to Surrender in Killing of Astoria Financial Exec, Police Say
By DNAinfo Staff on June 29, 2012 12:31pm |
QUEENS — An Ivy-League educated lawyer accused of strangling and beating his budding financial executive girlfriend to death in their Astoria apartment is expected to turn himself in, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said on Friday.
Jason Bohn, 33, who's suspected of murdering Danielle Thomas, 27, has been in contact with the Queens District Attorney's office, said Kelly, who added that there were no details on where or when Bohn would turn himself in.
Sources said that Bohn was believed to be in Florida, where he has friends and family.
Thomas, a Kentucky native, was found inside an ice-filled bath tub at their apartment on 33rd Street Tuesday night, beaten and strangled.
"She knew people were the most important part of life," said heartbroken ex-boyfriend Travis Marsh, 30, of California. "She did everything she could to make the world a better place. It's crushing that we lost her."
The news of Bohn's possible surrender came as details emerged that police and friends had tried to protect Thomas — who just months ago moved to the city to pursue a dream job at Weight Watchers — from Bohn.
Cops packed up Thomas' belongings and moved her to a hotel in Brooklyn after she tried to break up with him, sources said. He had allegedly unleashed a torrent of harasssing emails to her on June 7, including one while the victim was at the 114th Precinct stationhouse reporting that Bohn had physically abused her.
Bohn was charged with assault, aggravated harassment and harassment, and an order of protection was issued, according to the office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Cops also put Thomas in touch with the domestic violence victims' services organization Safe Horizon.
Yet at some point she left the hotel and returned to the apartment in Astoria she shared with Bohn, sources said.
According to sources, investigators repeatedly tried to get in touch with her, leaving phone messages and a note on her apartment door, but got no response.
Then on June 22, the DA's office received a message from Thomas saying that she had spoken to Bohn's lawyer and no longer wanted to press charges, sources said.
Four days later, Thomas was found dead.
The couple, who met at the University of Florida where both were attending graduate school, had a long history of problems, with neighbors describing hearing yelling coming from their apartment on several occasions.
Their issues started before Thomas moved to the city from Florida, where she was working for Disney, to join Bohn, who had moved up months earlier.
On New Year's Eve, Thomas and Bohn allegedly got into an argument, friends said. He stormed off in a rage, leaving her stranded in the city and frantically looking for a hotel room to spend the night.
"From the day he ditched on New Year's Eve, everyone didn't want to hang out with him, didn't want to see him, didn't want to know him," said Dimitri Constantine, 27, a friend from Florida. "We tried our best to get her away from him.
"Everyone tried to convince her."
After Bohn, who sources said had prior arrests for pot possession and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, allegedly beat Thomas on May 24, leaving her with bruises, she brought her mom to New York to stay with her.
After her mom left, Bohn allegedly came unhinged when she tried to break up with him, terrorizing her with a series of emails calling her a "whore" and "moron."
When she went to the precinct that day to report a series of threatening phone calls from Bohn, he allegedly called to taunt her.
"It's war," he allegedly yelled. "I'll dedicate my life to hunting you down like a dog in the streets. I am going to make your life impossible."
Immediately after Thomas filed charges against Bohn earlier this month, she took to Facebook to tell friends she needed help and that she realized she was in an abusive relationship.
She sought refuge with friends in Texas, but ultimately went back to Bohn in New York.
"She was the type of girl that just saw the bright side of everything," Dimitri Constantine said. "She was always the best of the best at everything."
Larry Nestella, 38, a building inspector who lives in the same Astoria building as an ex-girlfriend of Bohn's, said that Bohn stopped by the day before he allegedly killed Thomas to walk his ex's dog.
Bohn lived with the woman when they were dating and the two men would often talk politics at a local diner and throw around the football in the backyard.
When he heard the news that Bohn was being sought for Thomas' murder, he was stunned.
"I stood up and said out loud, 'This guy is my neighbor!'" Nestella said. "He was introverted, but if you got to know him, he seemed loyal and friendly."
Judith Kahan, CEO of the Brooklyn-based Center Against Domestic Violence, said Bohn's alleged behavior fits a pattern of textbook abuse.
"Most women who are trapped in these relationships are being controlled by an abuser," Kahan said. "There are many ways to control women. It could be sexual, it could be emotional, it could be violence."
Last year, police responded to 257,813 domestic violence incidents, averaging out to over 700 incidents a day, according to the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence.
The domestic violence unit conducted 73,016 home visits in 2010, a 91 percent increase since 2002.