MANHATTAN — The slacker boyfriend of a beautiful swimsuit designer was convicted Thursday afternoon of strangling and drowning her in a trendy Meatpacking District hotel room, authorities said.
A Manhattan jury deliberated for three days before finding Nicholas Brooks, 27, guilty of murdering Sylvie Cachay, 33, in the members-only Soho House in 2010. He faces life behind bars, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
Friends and family members of Cachay cried out "yes!" when a forewoman announced the verdict, the New York Post reported.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. thanked the jury for its decision on the "harrowing case of domestic violence."
“Domestic violence victims all too frequently become homicide victims," he said in a statement. "I hope that this verdict and the lengthy prison term the defendant faces lend some sense of closure to Ms. Cachay’s loved ones.”
City medical examiners determined Cachay died of forcible drowning and manual strangulation. The couple checked into a room after 12:30 a.m. Dec. 9 and she was found half-clothed in an overflowing bathtub after a guest on a lower floor reported around 2 a.m. that water was leaking through the ceiling. The New York Daily News reported that Brooks was seen leaving the room about 2:18 a.m.
Officials pronounced the up-and-coming swimwear designer dead around 3:30 a.m., officials said.
Cachay was found with injuries to her neck and the top of her head, and blood vessels in and around her eyes had burst, according to media reports.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Hoffman and an expert medical examiner argued Cachay could have received these injuries during CPR attempts and could have drowned accidentally because of pain killers in her system, media reports said.
Brooks is the son of disgraced Oscar-winning composer Joseph Brooks, who committed suicide in May 2011 at age 73. Before his death, he faced multiple sexual assault and rape charges for allegedly luring young women to his Upper East Side apartments for purported film auditions. His biggest hit was "You Light Up My Life."
Brooks, who reportedly lived off his trust fund, is expected to be sentenced July 26.