An woman of Indian origin in the United States was sentenced on Monday to 22 years to life in prison for strangling her nine-year-old stepdaughter in a bathtub in 2016, PTI reported.
Shamdai Arjun, a resident of Queens in New York, was convicted last month of second-degree murder by a jury and sentenced to an indeterminate term in prison on Monday. Justice Kenneth Holder handed down the sentence while describing the case as a disturbing example of extreme violence and suffering, Queens Daily Eagle reported.
“The defendant in this case goes beyond the tales of evil stepmothers,” said Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan. “This defendant committed the unimaginable – she wrapped her hands around her stepdaughter’s little neck and squeezed the life out of her.”
Ryan said the court imposed a sentence “that will likely guarantee this woman never sees freedom again”. “The sentence of the Court is more than warranted in this tragic case.”
A jury had convicted Arjun in less than an hour in May for the murder of Ashdeep Kaur, who was left under Arjun’s care, NBC New York reported.
According to the trial testimony, a witness had seen Arjun and her ex-husband Raymond Narayan and her two grandchildren leaving her apartment in Queens. When the witness asked about Ashdeep, Arjun said the child was in the bathroom waiting for her father, Sukhjinder Singh, to pick her up.
The witness observed that the bathroom light had been on for several hours and called Singh, who instructed the witness to break open the bathroom door. The witness found Kaur’s naked body in the bathtub with several bruises.