NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn teenager’s final act of bravery has led to an indictment more than 10 years after her murder.
On Feb. 11, 2004, the naked body of 17-year-old Sharabia Thomas was found in two laundry bags in an alley in Bushwick. Officials said she had been tied up and strangled.
Prosecutors said she did not go without a fight, and that is why her family now has a chance at closure.
DNA testing in 2004 yielded no results. But this past June, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Cold Case Squad analyzed the victim’s fingernail clippings and got a match to 38-year-old Kwauhuru Govan, who was in the system following a 2014 arrest for robbery in Florida.
“Sharabia bravely fought for her life when she was attacked and the evidence that helped to find her alleged killer was discovered under her fingernails,” Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. “It is my hope that solving this terrible crime will offer a small measure of comfort to Sharabia’s family, who suffered such an unspeakable loss.”
Govan lived about two blocks from the teen’s home at the time of the murder. He has denied knowing the victim. Appearing in a packed courtroom in Brooklyn on Thursday, Govan shouted out that he’d been framed.
A family member responded, “You can’t frame someone from DNA,” WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
Govan is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping.
He was ordered held without bail.
He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.