New York Woman Previously Thought to Have Jumped to Her Death Was Allegedly Murdered by Boyfriend
“This woman’s last moments of life were brutal," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement
A Queens woman was killed by her boyfriend after it was thought that she died by suicide, according to the Queens County District Attorney's Office.
On Monday, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that a Queens County grand jury had decided to indict Shmuel Levine, 34, on murder charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend, Danielle Marrano, 37, to death last Monday, Oct. 26.
Per the criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE, the incident occurred around 2:30 p.m., when Levine and Marrano entered into a verbal argument inside her apartment at the Ocean Promenade in Rockaway Park.
The dispute allegedly escalated into a physical altercation, when Levine allegedly put Marrano into a headlock. Her body was then discovered by responding police officers beneath her 6th floor window. Marrano — who was thought to have jumped to her death — was rushed to Jamaica Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Investigators say that they discovered some of Marrano's hair on the floor in her apartment, as well as a dent in one of her walls. Levine then, under questioning, allegedly admitted to killing Marrano after she admitted to cheating on him.
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"We got into an argument about her cheating on me," Levine said, according to the criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE. "I told her I couldn’t take it anymore. She admitted to cheating on me and so then I said, 'Can I see your phone?'"
"She wouldn't give me the phone and so I forcefully tried to get the phone from her and she fought back. I put me hands around her because I just wanted to get the phone. I was wrestling with her for the phone. I grabbed her to try and get the phone and she was kicking me," Levine continued. "It was not my intention to put her in a chokehold, it was to get the phone. I grabbed the back of her hair because I was desperate to get the phone."
The Medical Examiner said that Marrano suffered from at least four fractures to her skull and that two of the fractures were "inconsistent with injuries sustained in a fall." All four fractures were fatal and contributed to her death.
"This woman’s last moments of life were brutal. The defendant allegedly resorted to vicious, physical violence to resolve a quarrel. The defendant has been charged accordingly and is in custody," District Attorney Katz said in a statement.
According to Katz, Levine is being held without bail and is expected to be arraigned next week on the single-count indictment charging him with murder in the second degree. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison.
Levine's attorney, Kenneth Deane, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Marrano's family held a funeral for her on Monday, Nov. 1, and memorialized her with a tribute video shared on the funeral home's website.
“My daughter was a beautiful bright shining star,” Marrano’s mother, Karen Marrano, told the Daily News. “She loved her family and her friends and her brother very much. She loved to dance and travel.”