Man Pleads Guilty In Decade-Old Murder Of SEQ Girl

BY NATHAN DUKE

A 25-year-old Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty in the slashing death of a young girl in her Cambria Heights home nearly a decade ago, the Queens district attorney said.

Rashon Venable—who lives on Mecksville Road in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania—pleaded guilty on Tuesday to second-degree murder before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder, who indicated that he would sentence the defendant to an indeterminate term of 19 years to life in prison on March 1.

Venable was identified when a DNA sample that he provided in Pennsylvania was matched to one in CODIS, a national DNA database that was created and maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and contains DNA profiles from crime scenes.

“The defendant has now admitted to this violent, senseless killing of a teenage girl,” Queens DA Richard Brown said.

“This case highlights how important DNA analysis is when it comes to law enforcement. My office is committed to working tirelessly to insure that justice is done—no matter how many years it may take.”

According to the charges, Livingston Matthews discovered the body of his 14-year-old daughter, Sabrina Matthews, inside her bedroom on Nov. 9, 2008. The girl had a deep slash wound to her neck, multiple stab wounds to her face, neck and arms. There was no sign of forced entry into the residence.

Venerable was arrested in Pennsylvania on Nov. 7, 2016 and extradited to New York after the NYPD was notified that there was a CODIS hit. The defendant’s DNA was a match with the biological evidence that was recovered from the crime scene in Cambria Heights. At the time of the murder, the defendant was 16 years old and living in Queens Village, approximately two miles from the crime scene.

Reach editor-in-chief Nathan Duke via email at queenstribune@gmail.com or by phone at (718) 357-7400, ext. 122.

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