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Man Arraigned In Girlfriend's Lower East Side Stabbing Death

NEW YORK (AP / CBSNewYork) - A 23-year-old woman was attacked so viciously during an argument with her boyfriend that her side was slashed open and her skull was fractured, prosecutors said Monday.

WCBS 880's Irene Cornell: Suspect Said He Did Something Bad


Sarah Coit
College student Sarah Coit, 23, was fatally stabbed on April 10. Her live-in boyfriend was arrested and charged. (credit: CBS 2)

The suspect, Raul Barrera, was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder in the death of Sarah Coit. He was being held without bail and was on suicide watch. He did not enter a plea, and his attorney didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Prosecutors said he came to authorities after his father urged him to go to police.

"And reported that he had done something bad to his girlfriend," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kellytold CBS 2's Derricke Dennis.

Kelly said Barrera confessed and that the evidence against him was overwhelming.

"Eight knives were recovered in the apartment and he's made full admissions, and his statement has been recorded by the district attorney's office," Kelly said.

Police went to the couple's apartment in Lower Manhattan around 2:30 a.m. Sunday after receiving 911 calls reporting screams coming from inside. They broke down the door to find Coit still alive but in a pool of blood with stab wounds on her face and torso. Barrera was not there at the time.

Neighbors told CBS 2's Dennis they heard Coit begging for her life, but with the echo in the building tenants could only yell back.

"What room are you in? What's your name? Where are you? She didn't react. She continued screaming," witness Yoost Bohnen said.

"We were afraid. We didn't know what was happening. There was a lot of commotion," another resident said.

Coit was taken to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead. According to a criminal complaint, her internal organs were visible from a gaping stab wound to her left torso. Her skull was fractured, and authorities believe she was hit with a blunt object.

1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reports: Barrera Appears Before A Judge


Coit had called police on one occasion in January to complain of an argument with Barrera, 33, when the couple lived in midtown Manhattan, authorities said.

Coit was from Greenwich, Conn., and worked as a salesperson in Manhattan and was attending Hunter College. When reach by phone Monday, her family said they had no comment. Barrera worked in public relations.

"It's sad. It's sad, someone as beautiful as she was," neighbor Steven Rodriguez said.

Barrera voluntarily went to a police precinct later Sunday and was taken into custody. He had been previously arrested on an assault charge.

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(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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