A University of Florida law school graduate intended to cruelly torture his ex-girlfriend when he beat and strangled her, a prosecutor said in announcing that the man has been charged with first-degree murder.
Jason Bohn initially was arrested on a second-degree murder charge, but Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Friday that the upgraded charge was included in a 10-count indictment.
The legal language in the new top count alleges the defendant acted in an "especially cruel and wanton manner" and intended to "torture" the victim inside their New York City apartment, the prosecutor said.
Danielle Thomas, 27, a native of Danville, Ky., attended both the University of Florida and University of Central Florida, where she was a member of the Eta Sigma Delta Honor Society, according to her obituary in The Advocate-Messenger of Danville.
Thomas, a financial analyst for WeightWatchers, reported to police on June 7 that Bohn had beaten her in May, leaving her with two black eyes and on crutches. She said Bohn also was sending her threatening e-mails and text messages.
While she was at the police station, Bohn called her cellphone, which she placed on speakerphone, the prosecutor said. "A police sergeant heard Bohn say, among other things, that 'this was war,' that he would hunt her down like a dog in the streets, and that he would bash in her skull," the prosecutor said previously.
Bohn was arrested that day, arraigned and released. Thomas received an order of protection against him.
She was found dead on June 26 inside the Astoria, Queens, apartment that she had rented with Bohn. She had been killed the previous weekend.
If convicted, Bohn could face up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. His next court appearance is July 23.
His attorney, Todd Greenberg, didn't immediately return a call for comment.
When her body was found, police also discovered two handwritten notes.
According to the prosecutor, one read: "It was an accident, it was an accident, 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 other read: "Dani, I will love you forever."