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Ex-military sniper, Army officer gets life for killing NY woman he met online

A gavel. (TNS/Released)

A deranged former military sniper who gunned down an “adored” Manhattan woman he met online was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison Thursday.

Elizabeth Lee-Herman’s heartbroken family and friends spared no words expressing their anger at her killer at a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court.

“You are a delusional self-absorbed cold-hearted killer!” fumed Pat Hudson, a friend of Lee-Herman, a 56-year-old mom of two.

Convicted killer Vincent Verdi — who tried to kill himself after he shot Lee-Harman — offered a self-pitying apology that drew jeers and groans from his victim’s loved ones.

“I can only hope one day the New York State criminal justice system will allow me to rejoin my family,” Verdi said.

“Never!” one critic said behind him.

“You’re the devil!” another chimed in.

Verdi, 64, a who made the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the Army and also worked for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, was busted for harassing Lee-Harman before he killed her on Nov. 1, 2017. He pleaded guilty of the slaying in May.

Lee-Harman, an Upper East Side resident, regularly biked to her job as a secretary at Grace Church School in the East Village. She was found dead collapsed between two docked Citi Bikes outside Cooper Union.

Her boss, the Rev. Robert Pennoyer, walked past the crime scene as he headed to work — but he didn’t get a look at the victim.

He worried later when Lee-Harman didn’t answer her phone. “I leapt up with alarm at a suspicion and explanation for why Elizabeth hadn’t picked up,” Pennoyer said.

He raced back to the scene and told cops he “thought I knew who the victim was.”

“If I was right about [it being] her, I knew who the shooter was — you,” Pennoyer told the suspect in court.

“From [the breakup] day until the day of her death … she had no peace from the defendant,” said Assistant District Attorney Germain Corprew said.

Verdi appeared at Lee-Harman’s job, her dentist and her hairdresser, sometimes in disguise. “Nothing stopped him,” the prosecutor said.


© 2019 New York Daily News

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