NEW YORK – Marijuana smoke and derogatory language allegedly pushed the assistant of 'real estate broker to the stars' Linda Stein to kill her, police said Friday.
Natavia Lowery, 26, told police Stein threw a stick at her after cursing and blowing smoke in the assistant's face. Lowery allegedly picked up the stick and struck her boss "six or seven" times, New York City Police Chief Raymond Kelly said at a press conference.
Lowery was arrested Friday and is charged with second-degree murder.
Police are still searching for the murder weapon, which Kelly described as two pieces of wood, connected by some type of cord.
Stein, 62, whose star-studded cadre of friends included Elton John and Madonna, was found lying in a pool of blood on Oct. 31. The slaying set off an intensive investigation, with dozens of people interviewed — including family, friends, former love interests and co-workers.
Her daughter discovered the body. An autopsy determined that Stein died from blows to the head and neck.
Lowery had called police to complain of the media presence outside her Brooklyn apartment, Kelly said. It was then when an investigator took the opportunity to suggest they meet sometime in the future to talk about the case.
Lowery gave police a written, verbal and video taped confession, Kelly said.
She had previously been arrested for identity theft in 2006, he said.
Stein was a pioneer in New York's punk music scene, becoming a fixture at the legendary CBGB club in Manhattan and co-managing the influential punk band the Ramones.
She was the ex-wife of Seymour Stein, the former president of Sire Records, the launching pad for the Ramones, Talking Heads and Madonna.
Stein co-managed the Ramones during the band's heyday and is credited with bringing the group to England.
She was dubbed a broker to the stars in the years after she quit rock 'n' roll for real estate, with celebrity friends and clients who included Madonna, Sting, Billy Joel, Steven Spielberg and Angelina Jolie.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.