Guyanese Man Gets 20 Years For Killing Girlfriend

QUEENS, N.Y., Apr 26, 2006 – A 38-year-old Guyanese native who had pled guilty to manslaughter in the stabbing death of his live-in girlfriend earlier this month, was yesterday sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Krisna Jajdat Soogrim, of 88-51 Hollis Court Boulevard in Hollis, Queens, received the sentence from Queens Supreme Court Justice Robert C. Hanophy. Judge Hanophy also added a concurrent five-year prison term to the sentence for the charge of assault of a police lieutenant with a meat cleaver.

Soogrim had pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault before the judge on April 5.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said, “In admitting his guilt, the defendant acknowledged that he was responsible for violently taking the life of his girlfriend and assaulting a police officer.”

Added the DA, “The imposed prison sentence reflects the gravity of his offenses, for which he must now accept the consequences.”

The prosecution’s case claimed that on February 7, 2002, Soogrim became involved in an argument with 34-year-old Jagat Velaidam Soogrim in their basement apartment. The argument became heated and the defendant fatally slit her throat, nearly decapitating her.  He then went to a local bar for approximately six hours and upon his return called 911 to say that he had killed his girlfriend and threatened that he had explosives.

When members of the New York City Police Department’s Emergency Service Unit responded to the scene they urged Soogrim, who had barricaded himself inside the apartment, to surrender.

But receiving no response, ESU Lieutenant Lawrence Serras and other police officers attempted to enter the apartment.  When they approached, Soogrim hurled kitchen cutlery at them, striking Lt. Serras in his helmet with a meat cleaver before he was subdued and later charged. (