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25-year-old New York man indicted for murder in Chinatown stabbing death of Christina Lee

Woman murdered in NYC's Chinatown
Suspect arrested in murder of woman in New York City's Chinatown 02:53

A New York man has been indicted for the stabbing death of 35-year-old Christina Lee in her Chinatown apartment last month. Assamad Nash, 25, was arrested in February after he allegedly followed Lee into her building and stabbed her over 40 times, according to the New York Police Department. 

Nash is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with one count of murder in the first degree, one count of burglary in the first degree and one count of burglary in the first degree as a sexually motivated felony. According to the NYPD, this was his eighth arrest since May 2021.

"Today's indictment marks the beginning of our pursuit of justice in the name of Christina Yuna Lee, a bright and beloved New Yorker who should not have had her life cut short in such a violent, shocking manner in her own home," Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement Wednesday. 

"Ms. Yuna Lee's death not only devastated her loved ones, but struck fear into the hearts of our AAPI neighbors, who have already suffered far too much pain in recent years. All New Yorkers deserve to be safe and secure, and we will ensure accountability for this senseless murder."

According to prosecutors, Nash followed Lee up six flights of stairs and pushed into her apartment on Chrystie Street at around 4:20 am on February 13. 

"She never even knew that he was there," building owner Brian Chin told CBS New York

Lee's neighbors made a 911 call at 4:22 a.m. and reported hearing sounds of a struggle and a woman screaming. Officers that arrived at the building said they could hear a woman crying for help but were unable to gain entry into the apartment until 5:40 a.m. Police say Nash attempted to exit the apartment through the fire escape but went back inside after catching sight of an officer on the roof. 

Police said he was found in the apartment hiding under the mattress, and a bloodied yellow kitchen knife police believe was used as the murder weapon was found underneath the dresser. Lee was found deceased in her bathroom with at least 40 stab wounds. 

Lee's death came amid a string of attacks targeting Asian American women in New York, which has led to calls for public officials to do more to protect the population. 

"Today, we are mourning, we are crying, we are trembling in fear. We are terrified. Do something New York City!" Justin Yu, president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, said. "She has done nothing wrong. Only mistake she made, was to move to New York City... but our city allowed her life to be taken away by violence."

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