By David Brand
A Richmond Hill woman was sentenced to 22 years in prison Monday, weeks after a Queens jury determined she strangled her husband’s 9-year-old daughter to death and left her body in a bathtub.
Shamdai Arjun, 58, was convicted at trial of second-degree murder for killing Ashdeep Kaur in the bathroom of the apartment she shared with Ashdeep’s father, her two young granddaughters and another family. Arjun fled with the two other children and was arrested at the home of her ex-husband hours later.
Justice Kenneth Holder handed down the sentence in a case he described as a “disturbing” example of “extreme violence” and suffering.
“It's disturbing to consider how you placed your hands around the neck and throat of that child and squeezed without letting up until her body went limp,” Holder said at sentencing.
“The suffering this child endured as she was being killed is unimaginable, and to boot you were the last face she had to look up and see before she died,” he continued.
Arjun maintains that she is innocent.
“When you look at the evidence in this case and you evaluate it, you will not be firmly convinced of the guilt of Ms. Shamdai Arjun for this tragic, tragic death,” her attorney Todd Greenberg told the jury during his opening statement in April. “There’s much more to this case and I’m going to ask you to look at the circumstances.”
The jury, however, deliberated for less than an hour before finding Arjun guilty last month.