ASTORIA — A grand jury has charged an Ivy League-educated lawyer with first degree murder for beating and strangling his financial executive girlfriend to death in their Astoria home after subjecting her to an unrelenting campaign of abuse, the Queens District attorney's office said Friday.
Jason Bohn, 33, already facing a second degree murder count for allegedly abusing and then killing his girlfriend, Danielle Thomas, 27 last month, was hit with the upgraded charge because the suspect "acted in an especially cruel and wanton manor," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
According to the DA, the upgraded charge was based on a provision of the law in which "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."
The DA's office said that "torture was involved" in the death, but did not elaborate.
Thomas's body was found in their apartment at 28-25 33rd St. in Astoria on June 26, just weeks after Bohn was arrested for allegedly threatening her with a series of emails and phone calls. One of them was made while she was reporting him at the 114th Precinct stationhouse.
The murder also came just over a month after Bohn, who got his undergrad degree at Columbia, allegedly severely beat the victim, who had moved to New York from Florida earlier this year to pursue a job as an executive at Weight Watchers.
“The victim was a young woman with a bright and promising future whose life was brutally and senselessly cut short allegedly at the hands of the defendant," Brown added. “This case will be vigorously prosecuted to ensure that justice is served for both the victim and her family.”
Bohn, a University of Florida law school graduate, faces a 10-count indictment including one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree strangulation.
The suspect, who met Thomas when they were both graduate students at the University of Florida, was initially arrested on June 29 at a White Plains restaurant where he was having dinner with his mother and his attorney.
He was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court the following day and held without bail.
According to the criminal complaint, cops were called to Bohn’s apartment on the day of the murder and discovered Danielle Thomas’s body laying face up in the bathtub covered with bags of ice.
Sources said that Bohn surrounded the woman with ice to prevent decomposition.
During a search, cops found two handwritten notes in the apartment.
“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 first note allegedly said.
“Dani, I will love you forever,” said the other one.
Bohn’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 23.
If convicted, he faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.