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Bushwick Man Gets 25 To Life For 2004 Cold Case Murder Of Teenager (DNA)

His DNA was entered into the national database after an arrest in 2014 for armed robbery in Florida

September 10, 2018

A 40-year-old man was recently sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder of a 17-year-old Bushwick resident.

Sharabia Thomas was murdered in 2004 according to a report in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

"Thanks to DNA technology and hard work by Cold Case detectives and my prosecutors, we were able to obtain justice for Sharabia and bring a small measure of closure to her loved-ones, who have been waiting many years," Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. "I am determined to continue looking back into the past to hold violent offenders responsible for their crimes."

Kwauhuru Govan, who used to live Gates Avenue in Bushwick was sentenced Friday by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Joanne Quinones to 25 years to life in prison following his conviction last month of second-degree murder after a jury trial.

According to trial testimony, the naked body of Thomas was discovered on February 11, 2004 inside two laundry bags on the side of an alleyway next to 130 Palmetto St. The cause of her death was determined to be "asphyxia by neck compression" or strangulation according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The case went unsolved for years since swabs from a sexual assault evidence kit didn't yield any results during the initial investigation.

However, in 2016 the NYPD's Cold Case Squad and the District Attorney's Cold Case Unit asked for fingernail clippings taken from the victim's autopsy be tested for DNA. The clippings had male DNA that was uploaded to the national DNA database and it matched Govan.

His DNA was entered into the national database after an arrest in 2014 for armed robbery in Florida. Govan has a troubled history and is also facing a different indictment for the 2005 murder of 19-year-old Rashawn Brazell. That case is still pending.

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