Man accused of fatally stabbing Asian woman in Chinatown apartment refuses to attend arraignment, court says

Assamad Nash, 25, is charged with murder and sexually motivated burglary.

March 16, 2022, 4:08 PM

Assamad Nash, the 25-year-old man accused of brutally stabbing an Asian woman to death in her apartment, refused to attend his arraignment on Wednesday, according to the court.

On Feb. 13, police found Christina Yuna Lee, 35, stabbed dozens of times after a neighbor who heard her screaming called 911. Prosecutors revealed new details from when officers arrived on the scene, including the lies caught on body-warn cameras as Nash tried to convince police to leave.

"I am alone in the apartment. We are ok. No one is bleeding. We don't need help. You broke my door. Go away. We don't need the police, I am fine," Nash was seen saying on officer body-worn camera footage, according to the indictment filed Wednesday.

Nash also tried to convey that he was trying to "help" and that he had come from a party earlier in the night, according to the court documents, obtained by ABC News.

"I tried to help my friend out," Nash allegedly said. "I was trying to help this female getting hurt by other people. I was trying to help the lady."

PHOTO: A woman was found stabbed to death on the Lower East Side on Manhattan in New York, Feb. 13, 2022, after police responded to a 911 call just before 4:30 a.m. The suspect Assamad Nash, 25, was caught trying to get away down the fire escape.
A woman was found stabbed to death on the Lower East Side on Manhattan in New York, Feb. 13, 2022, after police responded to a 911 call just before 4:30 a.m. The suspect Assamad Nash, 25, was caught trying to get away down the fire escape.
WABC

Nash later said that the "dude escaped," and that he was stabbed as well.

Prosecutors had previously accused Nash of imitating the voice of a woman when police arrived to the apartment and that Nash had tried to escape through the fire escape but saw an officer on the roof above him and went back inside the apartment, according to the criminal complaint filed in February.

Prosecutors accused Nash of feigning innocence in the ambulance ride after he was taken into custody, saying, "How is the girl in the apartment? Is she ok? We were partying and the dude escaped," according to the indictment.

Later, at Bellevue Hospital, Nash told officers that he didn't stab Lee and that he was "trying to protect the lady," prosecutors said. Nash continued that narrative the next day in his initial arraignment, saying, "If it's not on video, how can they say it's me?" the court documents state.

PHOTO: In this Feb. 15, 2022, file photo, flowers are set outside of the building where Christina Yuna Lee was murdered in the early hours of February 13th after she was followed home in New York.
In this Feb. 15, 2022, file photo, flowers are set outside of the building where Christina Yuna Lee was murdered in the early hours of February 13th after she was followed home in New York.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images, FILE

Surveillance video from Lee's building shows her exiting a cab at 4:23 a.m. before she was followed into her building, prosecutors said. Officers found her in the bathroom with multiple stab wounds to her neck and torso from her own kitchen knife, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and Nash was found hiding under a bed, according to the criminal complaint.

Nash, who is believed to be homeless, was charged with murder, burglary and sexually motivated burglary in the killing. He was scheduled to appear in Manhattan criminal court Wednesday morning, where he was not produced, a representative for the court told ABC News.

"Today’s indictment marks the beginning of our pursuit of justice in the name of Christina Yuna Lee, a bright and beloved New Yorker who should not have had her life cut short in such a violent, shocking manner in her own home," Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement Wednesday. "Ms. Yuna Lee’s death not only devastated her loved ones, but struck fear into the hearts of our AAPI neighbors, who have already suffered far too much pain in recent years. All New Yorkers deserve to be safe and secure, and we will ensure accountability for this senseless murder."

PHOTO: In this Feb. 14, 2022, file photo, Assamad Nash is escorted by police officers from the 5th Precinct in New York.
In this Feb. 14, 2022, file photo, Assamad Nash is escorted by police officers from the 5th Precinct in New York.
New York Daily News/TNS via Getty Images, FILE

Nash was out on supervised release for three open cases at the time of the stabbing, including one where he allegedly punched a stranger on the subway, prosecutors said. He was seen in police body-worn camera telling officers that he didn't "do jail" and that he had just gotten out of jail that day, according to the indictment.

ABC News could not immediately reach an attorney for Nash for comment.

ABC News' Will McDuffie and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.

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