A 33-year-old New York man was on Wednesday sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for fatally strangling his pregnant girlfriend, dragging her lifeless body out of a car, and leaving her beside a highway before driving away, Law & Crime reported.
The victim, identified as 29-year-old Vanessa Pierre, was three months away from giving birth when Goey Charles killed her in October 2020. Charles was handed the prison sentence after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder on November 14, authorities said.
“We asked for the maximum sentence because of the brutality of the crime and the defendant’s remorseless discarding of the lifeless body of his girlfriend, the woman who was soon to be the mother of his child,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “The sentence does not bring Vanessa back, but it achieves justice in her memory.”
In the statement, authorities said that on October 23, 2020, Charles drove Pierre’s “white Dodge Challenger to a location near 216-07 Horace Harding Expressway.” The victim, who worked as a nurse practitioner, was said to be in the front passenger seat.
At around 3:30 a.m., Charles exited the vehicle and “went toward the backseat, where his girlfriend was now sitting.” Pierre was later seen moving around when the light inside the vehicle illuminated, authorities said.
Charles then came out of the vehicle at around 4:36 a.m. and “dragged Pierre’s lifeless body out of the car and left her on the sidewalk”, authorities said, adding that the convicted man subsequently entered the vehicle and drove away.
An MTA bus driver later found Pierre unresponsive with a pair of gray sweatpants wrapped around her neck. She was pronounced dead by emergency responders who arrived at the scene, authorities said.
The victim’s cause of death was ruled as asphyxia due to compression of the neck. Charles was also confirmed as the father of Pierre’s unborn child through DNA, Law & Crime reported.