Wednesday, August 20, 2008

29 year old Long Island woman gets 21 years for strangling husband to death

Kelly Forbes, 29, of Merrick, NY (Nassau County, Long Island) was sentenced to 21 years in prison for strangling her husband, 50 year old Michael Forbes, to death with an electric cord, a crime which the presiding judge said required a good deal of premeditation.

The official charge was 1st degree manslaughter, but Nassau County Court Judge Jerald Carter said in aggravation that Kelly should have took advantage of a bureaucratic error which invalidated the marriage instead of resubmitting the marriage certificate, and that instead of going to work, she snuck out with a lover. Judge Carter noted it takes time and intent to strangle versus shoot or stab.

"This is not like a knifing. It's not like a shooting. To strangle someone takes time. It takes intent...I don't know if this is going to satisfy Mr. Forbes' family. Nothing I can do today will bring Mr. Forbes back. But I can assure them that for the next 21 years you will be paying for your actions."

When police arrived at Forbes' Merrick home Nov. 21, she told them that Michael, 50, had come at her the night before with an orange electrical cord while she slept. She said she kneed him in the groin, grabbed the cord, wrapped it around his neck and held it until he stopped moving.

She also told them that Michael, who had a 25-year-long rap sheet that included convictions for rape and attempted murder, had been violent with her twice during their 2-month marriage. Forbes told the judge yesterday that she married Michael because she believed he would provide a nice home for her and her 8-year-old daughter, Kadeshja. But shortly after they were married, Michael became physically and emotionally abusive, Forbes said.

Kelly stated that Michael’s death was in self-defense, with thoughs of running away with her daughter 1st.

"If I could have run away with Kadeshja, I would have. But he grabbed me and tried to put the cord around me a second time. I know in my heart that I am alive today because God gave me the strength to fight Michael off."

Aretha Forbes looked at her daughter-in-law, and told the killer to look at the portrait of her son, which she held towards Kelly. Kelly, keeping her head down, turned her back to the woman, and the picture of her son.

"Kelly, can you look around and see this? This is my son. You took his life."

Michael Forbes' daughter, Michele Forbes, 15, was the last person to speak before Carter imposed sentence on Kelly Forbes.

"Why did you do this to my father? He was my best friend," she said to her stepmother. "One day you will be able to see your daughter again, but my father will still be dead."

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