Stepmother jailed for life after killing 9-year-old girl

A court in New York, US, on Monday sentenced a 58-year-old woman, Shamdai Arjun, to 22 years to life in jail for strangling a nine-year-old girl to death in a bathtub.

The convict, stepmother to the deceased, Ashdeep Kaur, was handed the jail term for taking the life of the girl in August 2016, Queens District Attorney, John Ryan, said.

The court heard that Arjun became jealous of Ashdeep’s close relationship with her father, Sukhjinder Singh.

“The defendant in this case goes beyond the tales of evil stepmothers. This defendant committed the unimaginable – she wrapped her hands around her stepdaughter’s little neck and squeezed the life out of her,” Mr Ryan said:  

Ashdeep’s body was discovered by a neighbour who spotted Arjun leaving her home with her ex-husband, Raymond Narayan, and her two grandchildren on August 19, 2016.

Arjun told the neighbour that Ashdeep was in the bathroom washing her hair and was waiting for her father to pick her up.

After observing that the bathroom light had been on for hours, the neighbour called Mr Singh who directed that the door be broken.

Ashdeep had only been in the US for three months before her death.