Woman Convicted in Strangling Death in Queens Park

Ruben Angel Vargas was killed in July 2010 in Astoria Park

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013  |  Updated 10:03 AM EDT
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Woman Convicted in Strangling Death in Queens Park

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A 32-year-old woman has been convicted of murder in the death of a man who was beaten and strangled in a park in Queens.
 
Ruben Angel Vargas was killed in July 2010 in Astoria Park.
 

Prosecutors said Vargas was killed by Kelly Harnett and Thomas Donovan, who were camping in the park.  
According to trial testimony, Harnett kicked the victim while Donovan choked him.
 
Prosecutors said Harnett then handed a shoelace to Donovan, who used it to strangle and kill Vargas.
 
Donovan pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and is serving a 15-year prison sentence.
 
Harnett was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder after a six-week trial.
 
She will be sentenced Nov. 20.
 
Harnett's lawyer, David Epstein, said it was Donovan who strangled Vargas. He said Harnett should not have been convicted.

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