A 22-year-old man was sentenced to 29 years to life in prison for the brutal burning and killing of a 14-year-old Brooklyn girl.
Christian Ferdinand met Shaniesha Forbes on Facebook in early 2013, and the two soon began hooking up. In January of that year, Forbes told Ferdinand that she was pregnant with his child. Ferdinand killed the teen after she refused to get an abortion.
According to reports, Ferdinand smothered Forbes with a pillow, sprayed her body with Axe Body Spray and then lit it on fire. He then stuffed Forbes into a suitcase and tossed her into a creek, where she was discovered days later. An autopsy ultimately revealed that the girl was not pregnant after all.
Ferdinand maintained his innocence during Wednesday’s sentencing, telling the judge that he didn’t kill Forbes. “I would never kill someone over an abortion,” Ferdinand said. “There's no reason to take someone’s life just because they said they was pregnant. These are all false things.
“My condolences to the family,” he continued, “but I didn't kill Shaniesha.”
Forbes’ cousin, Kerri-Ann Thomas, read a statement to the court on behalf of the family.
“He (Ferdinand) was 20 years old, the age most people consider to be a man but it's obvious he is no such thing," Thomas said. "What was he doing with a little girl, a baby, a child? He talked about his eyes and how he had a hard time keeping girls off him. I hope that works well for him in prison."
Forbes’ mother, Sandra Price, reportedly had to be escorted out of the courtroom in a wheelchair during the sentencing after becoming overwhelmed with emotion.
According to the New York Post, Forbes’ sister Shaquana was happy that justice was served.
“He deserved it,” Shaquana said. “I think he’s a psychopath and a sociopath.”