Punk Rock Pioneer's Murder Detailed in Taped Confession

Natavia Lowery has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder

Prosecutors showed for the first time Thursday a videotape in which punk rock pioneer Linda Stein's personal assistant admits beating her to death with an exercise stick.

Stein was a co-manager of the rock group the Ramones. She also was a real estate agent whose celebrity clients, including Sting, Billy Joel and Steven Spielberg, earned her the nickname Realtor to the Stars.

On the tape, a weeping Natavia Lowery tells Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon that "I wasn't myself" when she snatched the stick from Stein and bashed her head about six times on Oct. 30, 2007, while Stein was on the telephone in her Manhattan apartment.

Lowery says the 62-year-old Stein angered her by screaming profanity at her and blowing marijuana smoke in her face. The 26-year-old defendant says that the infuriating behavior was unlike Stein and that she believed she acted that way because she had stopped taking her depression medication.
Stein was found face down in a puddle of blood. She had scalp cuts and a fractured skull.

Lowery has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. She faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

The 90-minute videotaped statement was shown at a pretrial hearing in state Supreme Court. Justice Richard Carruthers must decide whether Lowery's statements to police and Illuzzi-Orbon may be used at her trial.

Lowery's attorney contends the video statement was improperly taken because she was questioned without a defense lawyer present.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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