Queens stepmom gets up to life in prison for strangling 9-year-old in bathtub

RICHMOND HILL, Queens — A Queens woman found guilty last month in the 2016 strangulation murder of her young stepdaughter in the family’s bathtub has been sentenced to up to life in prison, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Shamdai Arjun, 58, of Queens was sentenced Monday to 22 years to life in prison for the “heartless murder,” Queens District Attorney John M. Ryan announced.

“The defendant in this case goes beyond the tales of evil stepmothers,” Ryan said in a statement. “She wrapped her hands around her stepdaughter’s little neck and squeezed the life out of her.”

“The court has imposed a sentence that will likely guarantee this woman never sees freedom again,” Ryan added.

Ashdeep Kaur’s body was found in a bathtub by a neighbor in August 2016. Shamdai Arjun, 55, was found guilty of second-degree murder May 10 by a jury that deliberated for less than an hour.

“This is a horrifying case of  a defenseless 9-year-old child, who was to be cared for by her stepmother but was instead strangled to death by her,” acting DA John Ryan said. ” Her actions are truly incomprehensible and deserve the maximum punishment allowed under the law.”

Arjun was spotted leaving the home where the 9-year-old girl was killed around 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 19, 2016 along with her ex-husband. The neighbor who spotted them asked Arjun where the 9-year-old girl was. Arjun said Kaur was in the bathroom waiting for her father to pick her up.

The neighbor called Kaur’s father. He told the neighbor she should break down the bathroom door. The neighbor did and found Kaur’s body in the tub.

A report filed by the Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Kaur’s cause of death was manual strangulation.

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