NEW YORK – The personal assistant charged in the beating death of real estate agent and punk rock pioneer Linda Stein was denied bail Wednesday even though the defense argued new DNA evidence justified it.
Stein's blood was spattered around her Manhattan penthouse after she was bludgeoned to death in October, but not a drop was found on the clothes of Natavia Lowery, 26, who is charged with second-degree murder, her attorney said.
Male DNA also was mingled with Stein's blood in a bathroom sink -- suggesting her killer was a man, not the female assistant, Ronald Kuby argued while about 100 people wearing T-shirts that read "Justice for Natavia" filled the courtroom.
Lowery is accused of using a heavy stick to beat Stein, 61, once a co-manager of the rock group the Ramones. Stein was found facedown in a pool of blood in her Fifth Avenue apartment around 10:20 p.m. on Oct. 30. She had scalp cuts and a fractured skull.
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said Lowery, who is five months pregnant, had been stealing from Stein and apparently was worried that she would find out.
Surveillance camera tapes show Lowery leaving the building around 1:15 p.m., but Stein's daughter, Samantha Wells, has told police she spoke to her mother around 2 p.m.
Instead of trying to determine who left the male DNA, Kuby said, prosecutors downplayed its importance in the investigation. He said the most likely explanation for the presence of the DNA is that a male killer washed his hands in Stein's sink after the attack.
The prosecutor countered that the presence of male DNA meant only that "a man may have touched Linda Stein's sink at some time while in that apartment."
Stein also was a real estate agent whose deals with clients who included Sting, Steven Spielberg and other show business figures earned her the nickname Realtor to the Stars.
The judge scheduled Lowery's next court appearance for April 24.