If convicted, Queens’ resident faces 25 years to life in prison.
An Indian American man has been charged with sexual assault and murder of his 65-year-old mother on the eve of Mother’s Day in Jamaica, Queens, in New York, according to prosecutors.
Pushkar Sharma, 28, was arraigned Monday afternoon in Queens Criminal Court before Judge Toko Serita on a complaint charging him with two counts of murder in the second degree and sexual abuse in the first degree.
Judge Serita ordered him to return to court on May 24. If convicted, Sharma faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
“What should have been a celebration of Mother’s Day became a brutal, tragic nightmare for a Queens family. The defendant in this horrific case allegedly choked, punched, sexually assaulted and killed his mother in their home,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.
Between 8:00 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on Saturday, Sharma, of Winchester Blvd. in Jamaica, Queens, approached his mother, Soraj Sharma, from behind, placed his hands around her throat and then began to choke and punch her multiple times in the face, Katz said.
They struggled for several minutes, falling to the floor as he allegedly continued to punch and strangle his mother. He then allegedly sexually assaulted his mother and continued to strangle her until she lost consciousness.
According to the charges, immediately after killing his mother, Sharma went up to his room, retrieved his wallet and keys and walked to the police precinct and reported his criminal actions.
Sharma told police he woke up the morning before Mother’s Day “with an uncontrollable urge to hurt someone,” according to a criminal complaint cited by the New York Daily News. Sharma also told police “he continued choking her until he was pretty sure she was dead.”
Soraj Sharma’s daughter found her mother unconscious in the basement, police said. Medics rushed her to Long Island Jewish Hospital, but she could not be saved.
A neighbor, who only gave his first name, Kelvin, told the Daily News he knew Sharma had mental health problems, but he was stunned at the slaying. “The family was really nice and friendly. I am shocked to know that the son could’ve done this,” he said.
He recalled a past incident when neighbors called police because Sharma was acting erratically. “So, it’s not the first time. He’s been in trouble before,” Kelvin was quoted as saying.
“You can clearly tell that he has some mental health issues. When he had the cops called on him previously, people said that he was not on his medications. Perhaps, the same happened this time around.”