JERSEY CITY, N.J. – JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — A judge sentenced a woman to as many as 30 years in prison Thursday for her role in the death of a New Jersey teen whose body was found in a trash bin in a case that led to a crackdown on New York City nightclubs.
Krystal Riordan pleaded guilty in May to kidnapping and hindering apprehension after initially rejecting a plea bargain by Hudson County prosecutors in the death of 18-year-old Jennifer Moore.
Riordan, 24, of Orange, Conn., had faced numerous charges in the 2006 death of Moore, of Harrington Park, a New York City suburb. Riordan's boyfriend, Draymond Coleman, pleaded guilty in March to murder and was sentenced in May to 50 years in prison.
Moore, a recent high school graduate from the exclusive Saddle River Day School, ended up walking alone on Manhattan's West Side Highway after a night of partying with a friend in Chelsea, a Manhattan neighborhood packed with bars and clubs, authorities said.
Upon leaving, they discovered their car had been towed, but attendants at the impound lot refused to release the vehicle, according to police, because the teens appeared drunk. Moore's friend passed out and was taken to a hospital soon afterward, authorities said.
Amid the commotion, the 5-foot-2, 105-pound Moore, who was wearing a black halter top and a white miniskirt, wandered off alone.
Prosecutors claim Coleman, whom they described as a small-time pimp, spotted Moore and lured her into a taxi, taking her to a Weehawken, N.J., motel room — across the river from Manhattan — where she was sexually assaulted and beaten for several hours, then strangled.
Prosecutors say Riordan, who worked as a prostitute, was in the room at the time and helped dispose of the body, cleansing it with bleach in an effort to erase evidence.
Moore's parents, Candida and Hugh Moore, were in court Thursday with their son and daughter, friends, and extended family.
"Not a day or night goes by without us reliving the horrors our daughter suffered — the fear, pain and agony she experienced all alone at the hands of these two strangers," Candida Moore told the packed courtroom in a prepared statement. "We are constantly haunted by the brutality that she endured."
Riordan, whose adoptive parents were also in court, appeared to choke up as she apologized to the Moore family.
"I wish this never happened," she said. "I'm not going to say I'm innocent because I know what I did was wrong, but at the time I was scared, and I did fear for my life."
Her attorney, Dwight Miller, asked the judge for leniency because of what he said was his client's history of sexual abuse since age 5, myriad psychological problems, and fear of Coleman.
Assistant Hudson County prosecutor Michael D'Andrea countered: "There is only one victim here, judge, make no mistake about it. Her name is Jennifer Moore."
Moore's 2006 death, and the abduction and killing of college student Imette St. Guillen the same year led to the crackdown on New York nightlife and the issuance of new guidelines for nightclub operations. Former Manhattan nightclub bouncer Darryl Littlejohn faces trial in St. Guillen's death.
In presiding over the Moore case, Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan admonished Riordan, who he stressed was only two years older than Moore at the time of her death.
"You won't see anything but a roof over your head and bars in front of you through your 20s, your 30s and into your 40s; think about that," he said. "But you'll walk free one day, and Miss Moore never will."