NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An admitted killer who stabbed to death his former girlfriend last year was in court Friday, trying to get a sentencing deal he was offered before reinstated. But as CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is asking that he get the max.
Raul Barrera, 34, who avoided trial by pleading guilty, listened to 911 calls from neighbors who could hear his victim screaming.
“There is a woman screaming like she is being hurt. I can still hear her. She is screaming,” a voice on the recording said.
Barrera admitted to the April 2011 Lower East Side murder of his former girlfriend, 23-year-old Sarah Coit. She was stabbed a dozen times with a kitchen knife and left for dead. A half hour later, while she was still alive, Barrera showed up in a police station admitting to what he did.
In court, Barrera came face to face with the victim’s father, Lynde Coit of Greenwich, Conn. He related a text message he received from his daughter shortly before his she was killed.
“The Raul Situation is a bit out of hand,” the father read.
The father then spoke of seeing his daughter after the violent killing.
“When I identified Sarah’s body in the basement of the morgue, her injuries … the look on her face, the terror, will haunt me for the rest of my life,” Lynde Coit said.
One friend of the victim quoted her as saying that the defendant had said to her: “If my girlfriend is not worth beating, she’s not worth anything.”
Barrera, who is facing 25 years to life, has asked for a deal he previously rejected, 23 years to life. District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., whose office handles 5,600 domestic violence cases a year, said victims must seek help.
“Victims of domestic violence must know there is an exit plan to get out of abusive relationships, before deadly or serious physical injury,” Vance said.
The prosecution is making a record of the heinous nature of the killing for the time, years down the road, when Barrera comes up for parole.
The hearing, before just a judge, will continue into next week.
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