2009-12-11 / Front Page

Slain Teller's Mom Seeks Justice

By Howard Schwach

October 25, 2008 was slated to be a big day for Ozone Park resident Niasha DeLain. She was due to give birth that day and to take her maternity leave from the North Fork Bank on Beach 116 Street in Rockaway Park, where she was a teller.

Niasha DeLain in a photo taken shortly before she was slain. Niasha DeLain in a photo taken shortly before she was slain. Instead, she and her baby were both killed, knifed to death in her apartment.

Two weeks later, detectives from the 106 Precinct made an arrest in the case.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, who announced the arrest on November 11, 2008, identified the alleged killer of DeLain and her unborn baby as Derrick W. Redd, 35, of Jamaica.

Police say that Redd did not believe that the baby was his and wanted his girlfriend to abort it, but she refused, perhaps sparking the murder.

"I wasn't sure the baby was mine," he allegedly told detectives. "I didn't trust her with all my heart and we argued about an abortion."

"I either avoid the problem or I eliminate it," he added, according to police investigators.

After DeLain's mother had not heard from her daughter for a few days, she asked Redd, who had a key to the apartment at 109-57 Lefferts Boulevard, to let her in so she could check on DeLain. They got to the apartment and found DeLain on the floor. Her neck was slashed and she had numerous stab wounds to her stomach, including six stab wounds to the fetus in utero, according to court sources. Both DeLain and her unborn child were declared dead at the scene by EMS workers.

Redd was arraigned on November 17, 2008, charged with second degree intentional murder, criminal possession of a weapon and second degree abortional act. The charges he faces are for the murder of DeLain and the abortion of the unborn fetus. He was not charged with murder in connection with the fetus.

He faces 25 years to life in prison. His trial is scheduled for early January.

That, however, is not enough for DeLain's mother, Far Rockaway resident Towanda Wimms.

Wimms, 45, is in Albany trying to convince lawmakers that killing an unborn baby should call for a separate count of murder, something that is not true in the case of her grandson, who was never born.

She hopes to get her bill, The Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which is backed by several state right to life groups, through the state legislature when it reconvenes in January.

"A lot of people that this has happened to, their families are not speaking up," she told reporters. "I want justice for my daughter. This was disgusting. There were two victims here. This baby was intentionally stabbed."

Published reports say that Wimms went to both State Senator Malcolm Smith and Assemblywoman Michelle Titus for support of her bill and was turned away.

Pro-choice activists say that this case could provide a "back door" approach to providing "fetal rights" that could impact the national abortion debate.

Political insiders told The Wave that the proposed bill has little chance of passage.

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