Jurors convicted a man of first-degree murder because he brutally beat his girlfriend in a jealous rage, taunted the dying woman in a recording, left her for hours, and only sought medical attention after he attended an unrelated court hearing. Nicholas Forman, 24, asked through his attorney on Thursday in a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania courtroom that he be immediately sentenced for killing Sabrina Harooni, 22, according The Pottstown Mercury. The judge handed down a life term. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.
The account from prosecutors is that the defendant lashed out when the victim got a text from an ex-boyfriend. The couple was taking an Uber home from a Feb. 2, 2020 visit to the restaurant and bar PJ Whelihan’s. Waitstaff testified that the pair seemed like a happy, “normal couple,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
But the text set Forman off. Driver Daniel Persing testified that Forman demanded to see Harooni’s phone. Harooni refused. Forman said Harooni could not return to his home unless she showed him the message.
“Each time he asked about that message, I knew he wouldn’t let it go,” Persing reportedly said.
He said he stayed behind after the couple exited his vehicle. Persing testified to hearing screaming and something breaking on the ground. Brady Reese testified to seeing Harooni stumbling and appearing to say “help,” but Forman insisted she was drunk. Harooni did a thumbs up, and the couple walked away, testimony indicated.
According to forensic examiners, Forman beat the woman so badly that she sustained injuries including bleeding in her brain. He recorded the dying woman on his cellphone and taunted her as she passed.
“This is what a cheating liar gets,” he said.
Harooni’s mother Rabia reportedly cried out in tears when prosecutors played this video in court.
“I’m miss you, Sabrina,” she said.
“How could you do that to my baby?” she yelled out to Forman.
Instead of getting help for the badly injured woman, Forman went to a court hearing the next morning for drug charges. According to authorities, he claimed to return to find Harooni unresponsive, then got another Uber driver to bring them to the hospital. He blamed the beating on three women at the bar, but the aforementioned waitstaff testimony contradicted that.
Pottstown Police Officer Nikolas Stoltzfus testified that Forman was calm in the hospital when telling the story about the three women and never asked him about how Harooni was, according to Montgomery Media.
Forman showed no contrition last year when authorities escorted him after his arrest. Instead, he placed the blame on the unknown three women while cursing out and flipping off NBC Philadelphia reporter Drew Smith.
Perkiomen Township man charged w/ murder after beating death of his girlfriend. Alexander Forman on his way to MontCo prison says he didn’t do it and curses at us. At 6pm: details on a jealous rage and an Uber ride with a lifeless body @NBCPhiladelphia https://t.co/qJ7cCoDxmc pic.twitter.com/EmbkYXdK6c
— Drew Smith (@drewsmithtv) February 6, 2020
At trial, Forman’s defense admitted that Forman did, indeed, kill Harooni — but that admission was part of an unsuccessful bid to argue that the killing was unintentional. The defense tried to claim the evidence only supported a conviction on third-degree murder — which carries, of course, a significantly lesser sentence.
“This wasn’t a whodunit,” attorney Michael A. John said in closing argument according to the Mercury report. “It was cruel. It was extremely indifferent to Sabrina Harooni’s life. My client did have malice but he did not have the specific intent to kill Sabrina Harooni.”
Jurors did not buy it. District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said that there was specific intent to kill because Forman did not seek medical attention for Harooni.
“He hid her away so nobody could help her,” he said. “Each of these acts to put her into that condition is a deliberate act. Hitting, compression, strangling. Deliberate actions.”
[Screengrab via Drew Smith]
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