QUEENS — A 33-year-old lawyer accused of strangling and beating his girlfriend to death in their Astoria apartment was arrested Friday in Westchester, according to police.
Jason Bohn, an Ivy-League educated attorney, had been a prime suspect after he called police to report the brutal death of his girlfriend, Danielle Thomas, 27, and investigators discovered emotionally fraught handwritten confessions left at the couple's apartment, one that seemed to address law enforcement, the other an apology to his dead lover, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Bohn appeared in criminal court Saturday alongside his lawyer, Todd Greenberg. He was remanded without bail, and placed under suicide watch, the DA's office said.
"I thought it was the most prudent thing to do under the circumstances," said Greenberg, of his client's mental state, adding, "he's despondent."
In the courtroom Bohn appeared sullen. The large man wore a dark hooded sweatshirt, white sneakers and white socks, and didn't speak a word during the proceeding.
Thomas was found beaten and strangled to death in an ice-cube filled bath tub at the 33rd Street apartment on Tuesday, police said. Thomas, who had followed Bohn to New York City after the two met in Florida, was a financial executive and new to the area. She was found to have suffered from broken cartilage in the neck, several fractures to the front, back and sides of her rib cage, and a lacerated liver, according to the medical examiner, and she died of blunt force trauma to the neck and torso.
Bohn plead not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, aggravated criminal contempt, first-degree criminal contempt, and tampering with physical evidence, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
"It was an accident, it was an accident, it was an accident," one note read, according to a statement by the DA's office. "I had been drinking and I was drunk when I got home... She was already asleep," said the note.
"I woke up and there was fighting between us," he allegedly wrote. "When I woke up again she was unconscious... I am sorry," the note said, according to the DA.
The second note was an apologetic, "Dani, I will love you forever," said the DA's office.
Police found and arrested Bohn at a restaurant in White Plains around 8 p.m., where he was with his mother and lawyer.
Thomas had sought police protection June 7, after she was violently attacked by Bohn, who she met while in graduate school at the University of Florida.
Inside the 114th Precinct stationhouse, Thomas told police that in May, Bohn had punched her in the face, causing two black eyes and knocking her to the ground, causing a knee injury so painful she had to use crutches to walk, the DA said.
She initially wanted to press charges over the incident, and the ensuing barrage of furious e-mails and text messages, and even while she was at the precinct, Bohn allegedly called her cell phone, which she put on speakerphone, the DA said. An NYPD sergeant heard Bohn say "this was war, that he would hunt her down like a dog in the streets, and that he would bash in her skull," according to the DA.
But on June 22, after she had reached out to family for help, and had posted on Facebook asking for advice on the relationship, she requested that prosecutors lift the charges against him, police said.
Bohn is due back in court for a grand jury hearing on July 5.