QUEENS, N.Y. — When Danielle Marie Marrano’s body was found “mangled on the ground” below the window of her sixth-floor apartment late last month, authorities initially believed the 37-year-old had jumped to her death.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Monday that Marrano was beaten to death before her body was thrown from the window. Her boyfriend, Shmuel Levine, 34, of Rockaway Park, has been charged with second-degree murder.
“This woman’s last moments of life were brutal. The defendant allegedly resorted to vicious, physical violence to resolve a quarrel,” Katz said in a statement. “The defendant has been charged accordingly and is in custody.”
The New York Daily News reported that Marrano was found around 2:40 p.m. Oct. 26 lying on a sidewalk outside her apartment building on Ocean Promenade in Rockaway Park. She was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead six hours later.
Detectives initially thought Marrano had possibly jumped in a suicide attempt, but soon heard from hospital staff, according to court documents obtained by the newspaper. According to doctors, she suffered four separate skull fractures, two of which were inconsistent with a fall.
Katz' announcement confirmed those details.
Marrano also suffered fractured ribs, a broken arm and cuts near her armpits, the Daily News reported.
“Inside the apartment, police found hair that appeared to match Ms. Marrano’s and also observed a large dent in the wall,” Katz said in her statement.
Levine, when questioned by detectives, said that he and Marrano got into an argument that day, the court documents state.
“We got into an argument about her cheating on me,” Levine said, according to the criminal complaint. “I told her I couldn’t take it anymore. She admitted to cheating on me and so then I said, ‘Can I see your phone?’”
When Marrano refused, Levine said they got into a scuffle.
“I put my hands around her because I just wanted to get the phone,” Levine told the police, according to the Daily News. “I was wrestling with her for the phone. I grabbed her to try and get to the phone and she was kicking me. It lasted about a minute — the chokehold was two seconds.”
Levine told investigators he grabbed Marrano by the back of her hair, clumps of which were found on the floor of the apartment, the complaint states.
It was unclear at what point Levine threw Marrano from the apartment.
Marrano’s mother, Karen Marrano, spoke to the newspaper hours after her daughter’s funeral on Monday. She tearfully talked of her daughter’s love for her family and friends, as well as her love of dancing and travel.
“My daughter was a beautiful, bright shining star,” Karen Marrano said.
Marrano worked as a dental hygienist for 15 years. Her boss, Brooklyn dentist Jim Sarji, told the paper that she was loved by her co-workers and their patients.
“This is so tragic,” Sarji said. “Everybody loved her. All the patients loved her. Even after quarantine, she was very busy and scared to return to the office, but everybody asked for her.”