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Robert Chambers, whose privileged Upper East upbringing earned the tabloid nickname "The Preppy Killer" when he killed a woman in 1986, was charged with 14 counts of selling and possessing drugs. Since two of the counts are for first-degree sale, which the Daily News reports carries 15-30 years, Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau said, "I would expect he would spend the rest of his life in jail."

Chambers and girlfriend Shawn Kovell were arrested by undercover cops on Monday in their East 57th Street apartment. Chambers had sold drugs to cops a number of times; Kovell was present on one of those occasions and faces one count of drug possession and sale. When the police arrested Chambers, the 6'5" convicted murderer put up a fight, and with three cops breaking bones (a hand, a thumb, a toe).

2007_10_morgenthau.jpgNeighbors had complained to the police and 311 about the comings and goings of drug addicts to the couple's apartment, which the Post calls "Chambers of Horrors": "an overwhelming stench from the apartment filled the hallway, which was littered with plastic bags that had once contained drugs." Cocaine and crack pipes were also found. Morgenthau called the scene "open and notorious."

The Post also says that Chambers was a "middleman" for friends, taking a 30% profit. The NY Times says that the police bought 246 grams of cocaine for $9,600, "an amount that could fetch $20,000 on the street."

When Chambers was released from prison in 2003 after serving a 15-year sentence for Levin's death, he and Kovell moved to Georgia where they stayed with her mother's friend. They moved back to New York when Kovell's mother died, because Kovell inherited the rent-stabilized apartment. A neighbor in Georgia said, "I know they agonized over the decision - do we give up the apartment or do we not?"

And during his court appearance, Chambers told the judge, "I still don't even know what my arrest is for. I don't know the charges or anything." He was given a court-appointed lawyer and was held without bail. Newsday observed, "Chambers, scruffy, graying and sickly, looked nothing like Chambers of 20 years ago, when, despite the charges against him, he became something of a matinee idol." Here's Newsday's photo gallery from the Levin murder (warning, the link will reduce the size of your browser) and here's Crime Library's extensive article about the case.

Robert Chambers Sr. told Steve Dunleavy, "Yes, it breaks my heart. When he called I didn't know what to tell him...It sounded like me saying to him, look, you're on your own. What I'm saying really is, what can I do?"

Photographs of Robert Chambers (top) and DA Robert Morgenthau (bottom) by Louis Lanzano/AP