Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Jerry Lewis was indicted by a grand jury and arraigned today on a charge of murder in the second degree for the 1992 death of 15-year-old Nadine Slade, who was found naked and strangled with her own bra in her Far Rockaway home.

District Attorney Katz said: “Any mother’s worst nightmare is to survive a child. To lose a child in such a horrific way causes unimaginable pain. Not knowing who committed the crime compounds the suffering. In the end, we hope to achieve justice for Nadine and bring closure and some measure of solace to her bereaved mother.”

Lewis, 58, of Shawsville, Virginia, was arraigned on an indictment charging him with murder in the second degree. Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder ordered Lewis to return to court on June 7. If convicted, Lewis faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison.

According to the charges, on May 7, 1992, Lewis strangled Slade using her bra. She was found by her mother in a bathroom shared by two apartments in their multi-family home.

Lewis and others had been in the adjoining apartment, which used the same bathroom, the night before the murder. Lewis and Slade did not know one another.

After a painstaking investigation led by the NYPD and District Attorney Katz’s office, there was a break in the case. District Attorney Katz’s office and the NYPD last year requested that the New York City Medical Examiner’s office test for DNA under the victim’s preserved fingernail clippings. The test resulted in DNA evidence that linked Lewis to the crime.

The investigation also included multiple witness interviews and extensive searches of records.

The investigation was conducted by Detectives Donnamarie Mazza, Robert Dewhurst, and Francis Noonan under the supervision of Sergeant Christopher Barbieri and the overall supervision of Lieutenant Michael Saccone, from the New York City Police Department’s Cold Case Detective Squad, and Assistant District Attorney Karen L. Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief of the DA’s Homicide Bureau and Chief of the Cold Case Unit, Assistant District Attorney Ross is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Xhulia Derhemi under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Shawn Clark.

Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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