By Christina Rodriguez
Both sides rested yesterday in the case of a Queens man accused of slashing the throat of a woman set to testify against him for allegedly raping her.
Defendant Hemant Magnath was on trial for the alleged rape of Natasha Ramen when she was murdered in front of her home on March 15, 2007; her attacker came up behind her and slit her throat from ear to ear. Ramen died 14 hours later.
A significant point of the case was when Supreme Court Justice Robert Hanophy became the first judge in the nation to approve the use of “low copy number” DNA, also known as “touch DDA”, as evidence in a trial.
The procedure allows investigators to scrap and test a small amount of cells left behind by a person who briefly touched an object, such as clothing.
The practice of looking for LCN DNA involves examining smaller amounts of DNA at higher magnifications under microscopes and crime scene tools. A trace of blood was found on a seat belt in Ramen’s car which was linked to DNA from Magnath.
Other than the DNA, the case also centers around the details of the previous rape case, where circumstances during the trial may have lead Magnath to allegedly commit murder and take the life of Natasha Ramen.
Summations in the case were expected today. Magnath, charged with murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, assault in the second degree, intimidation, bribery, and coercion, faces life in prison without parole.