Insanity Defense Eyed for Danielle Thomas's Alleged Killer
ASTORIA — The attorney for Ivy League-educated lawyer Jason Bohn, who is accused of killing his financial executive girlfriend in their Astoria apartment, hinted at an insanity defense Monday and said his client has suffered a lifetime of emotional abuse.
Bohn appeared at Queens Supreme Court morning to be arraigned on first degree murder charges for allegedly killing his girlfriend Danielle Thomas, 27, after beating and harassing her throughout the months she was in New York. He faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Speaking to reporters afterward, his lawyer Todd Greenberg, said his client’s “mental capacity will become an issue in this case."
“This may not be a case of who’s done it as much as why it happened,” he said. “Mr. Bohn has been suffering from extreme emotional disturbances his whole life and that’s going to be a factor in this case.”
Bohn said that he was physically abused by his father as a kid, but managed to turn his life around and get into Columbia University.
The 33-year-old suspect, who was being held at Bellevue Hospital prison ward under suicide watch until recently, had been facing a second degree murder count for allegedly abusing and then killing Thomas in their apartment at 28-25 33rd St. on June 26.
But he was hit with a first degree murder charge earlier this month because the suspect "acted in an especially cruel and wanton manner" and "intended to inflict and inflicting torture upon the victim prior to the victim’s death,” according to the indictment.
The murder happened just weeks after Bohn was arrested for allegedly threatening Thomas with a series of emails and phone calls. One of them was allegedly made while she was reporting him at the 114th Precinct stationhouse.
The killing also came just over a month after Bohn, who got his undergraduate degree at Columbia, allegedly severely beat Thomas, who had moved to New York from Florida earlier this year to pursue a job as an executive at Weight Watchers.
On the night Thomas' body was found, Bohn allegedly called the police and said that he had gotten drunk and lashed out at her.
“I got home very drunk and went to sleep. She woke me up, I got very pissed off and I slammed her against the wall. I want you to check on her to make sure she is all right," according to the Queens DA’s office.
When police arrived at the apartment, they found Thomas's body face-up in a bathtub covered with bags of ice.
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, a University of Florida law school graduate, faces a 9-count indictment including one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree strangulation and is due back in court on Sept. 24.