A jury found the Maine man accused of murdering a 14-year-old girl, and then trying to burn her body in Brooklyn, guilty of murder and tampering with physical evidence. Apparently Christian Ferninand, 22, thought his teen girlfriend was pregnant, and wanted her to get an abortion.
In January 2013, police found the partially burned body of Shaniesha Forbes, a freshman at the Academy for Young Writers, in Gerritsen Beach. Investigators said that Shaniesha, who met the six-years older Forbes on Facebook, had told him she was pregnant but refused to get an abortion. So Forbes smothered her with a pillow in his cousin's Brooklyn apartment until she stopped breathing. Then he tried to get rid of the body, first stashing it in a suitcase on the building's rooftop. From the Post:
He doused her corpse with Axe body spray and then used a Bic lighter to char her body before stuffing it in a suitcase and tossing it into Gerritsen Bay, court papers state.
“The defendant hoped that the saltwater would destroy any evidence the flames didn’t,’’ prosecutor Robert Walsh said in closing arguments.
The Medical Examiner's office confirmed that that Shaniesha actually wasn't pregnant.
Police confronted Ferdinand with texts he sent to Shaniesha, and after he confessed, he reportedly asked, "Do you think I can get some kind of community service?"
Ferdinand will next face sentencing, and Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson said, "The defendant brutally took the life of a 14 year-old girl all because he believed that she was pregnant. We will now seek the maximum at sentencing to ensure that we get justice for the victim." The maximum would be life in prison, the minimum 25 years.
A juror told the Daily News, "It was open and shut... Young girls should be careful who they hook up with on the Internet. But he should not have done what he did."