A man serving prison time for a 1993 murder admitted Friday to plotting to kidnap and torture the Nassau prosecutor from his trial in the slaying of a medical student whose fiancee he coveted as a love interest.
Chandran Nathan, 59, pleaded guilty in Nassau County Court to second-degree criminal solicitation in exchange for a judge’s commitment to a sentence of 3 to 6 years in prison.
Nathan, an inmate in the upstate Shawangunk Correctional Facility, already is serving 37 1⁄2 years to life for killing the 20-year-old student in the doorway of his Manhasset home.
In the current case, prosecutors said Nathan offered to pay $10,000 for the kidnapping, beating and waterboarding of former Nassau prosecutor Fred Klein in hopes of getting Klein to give a videotaped statement that Nathan’s confession to the 1993 murder was coerced.
Nathan admitted in court Friday under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Anne Donnelly that he tried to arrange the kidnapping between last May and October.
After the plea, Klein released a statement to Newsday saying: “I thank the district attorney’s office and other law enforcement agencies for their vigilance on my family’s behalf.”
Nathan’s attorney, Stephen G. Murphy of Brooklyn, said previously that his client wanted to end his incarceration so he could care for his cancer-stricken mother, but has exhausted his appeals and isn’t eligible for parole until 2030.
Murphy said after Friday’s plea that Nathan had been captured on videotape and on an audio recording discussing the plot with an undercover cop.
“His mother would have been subpoenaed to come to court. And his mother’s 83 years old, and he did not want that to happen. And I believe under the circumstances, he made a wise choice,” Murphy said.
In the murder case, Nathan was convicted of killing Shaleen Wadhwani. Nathan was married, but was jealous because Wadhwani got engaged to a woman he wanted for himself, authorities said during the trial.
Nathan killed Wadhwani in May 1993 by repeatedly firing a rifle at him. The victim’s fiancee, Hema Sakhrani, 20, jumped to her own death two days later, distraught over the slaying.
During the trial, Nathan’s attorney tried to convince jurors that his client wasn’t responsible for the killing because he was mentally ill.
In a statement Friday, Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas called Nathan’s crime “a foolhardy effort to coerce fake evidence to exonerate him.”
Singas credited Nassau police, state correction officials and her investigators with exposing and stopping the scheme.