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N.Y. man wanted to waterboard prosecutor, D.A. says

MINEOLA, N.Y. -- A man who has served nearly a quarter-century in prison for slaying the fiance of a woman he was obsessed with -- days before she jumped to her death -- was charged on Tuesday with trying to hire someone to kidnap, torture and waterboard the prosecutor who helped lock him away. 

Chandran Nathan seemed stoic as he appeared before a judge in Nassau County Court and pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of criminal solicitation.

Authorities allege Nathan, who will be eligible for parole in 14 years, hatched the kidnapping plot while incarcerated at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in upstate Wallkill. Nathan offered $10,000 to have someone abduct Fred Klein, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted him, handcuff Klein, beat and torture him and waterboarding him if necessary, prosecutors said.

Nathan wanted the former prosecutor to say on video that his confession to the 1993 crime had been coerced, Assistant District Attorney Anne Donnelly said. Klein, now a law professor at Hofstra University, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Nathan, 59, was convicted of murder in 1994 after prosecutors said he gunned down Shaleen Wadhwani in the doorway of his Long Island home, offloading more than three dozen bullets from a high-powered rifle, striking the pre-med student nearly a dozen times.

Prosecutors said Nathan had been obsessed with Wadhwani’s fiancee, Hema Sakhrani, and was determined not to see her wed. Two days after Wadhwani was slain, Sakhrani jumped from the 16th floor of her Queens apartment building.

Nathan committed a “horrific and gruesome murder” and “has no remorse,” Donnelly said.

Nathan’s attorney, Stephen Murphy, said he believes his client should undergo a psychiatric evaluation, but he vowed to fight the charges against him.

“His motivation basically was that he had exhausted all his appeals, and I think he should be examined to determine his stability,” Murphy said.

If convicted, Nathan could face up to an additional seven years in prison.

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