UF law grad gets life term in woman's torture, death

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 5:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 5:10 p.m.

NEW YORK —A University of Florida law school graduate was sentenced to life in prison without parole Tuesday in the torture and death of his girlfriend, who can be heard begging for her life after her cellphone apparently pocket-dialed a friend and recorded her dying words.

Jason Bohn, 35, a contract attorney, was convicted of first-degree murder in March for the June 2012 beating and strangulation of Weight Watchers financial analyst Danielle Thomas, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

The body of Thomas, 27, a native of Danville, Ky., who also attended the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida, was found lying face up in a bathtub surrounded with bags of ice, with bruising on her face, shoulders and neck, and lacerations on her face, mouth and chest. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the neck and torso, authorities said.

Police said they recovered two handwritten notes.

One said: "It was an accident … I was drunk when I got home … I woke up and there was fighting between us … When I woke up again she was unconscious … I am sorry."

The second note read: "Dani, I will love you forever" and was signed "J."

The deadly violence erupted after Bohn demanded to know why Thomas had called a certain area code, testimony showed. Their voices could be heard on the cellphone recording:

"This is your life," he told her.

"I know," she replied.

"Danielle, you don't have a lot of time," Bohn said, and then ignored her as she implored: "Jason, I can't breathe."

About two weeks before she was killed, the victim told police that Bohn had a history of hurting and threatening her.

Bohn even called her while she was at the police station. A sergeant heard him saying "this was war" and vowing to "hunt her down like a dog in the streets."

Bohn was arrested that day and charged with assault and aggravated harassment; Thomas was granted an order of protection. "Those charges were pending at the time of Ms. Thomas' death," the prosecutor said.

Bohn graduated from Columbia University as an undergraduate and from UF's law school. Thomas' family has said that Bohn and Thomas met at a football game in Florida.

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