A Montgomery County man brutally beat his girlfriend to death, went to a scheduled court hearing the next day and finally ordered an Uber to take her lifeless body to a hospital, prosecutors said.
Nicholas Forman, 23, is charged with first and third-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Sabrina Harooni inside his Perkiomen Township home. Authorities say he ordered an Uber to take her to a hospital, where he made up a story that she had been beaten by a group of three women the night prior.
“This was not a transportation to help a victim that was struggling with life. This was taking a dead body out of a residence to a hospital,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a Friday morning news conference.
Authorities originally indicated Harooni was 22 and may have been alive when she arrived a Pottstown Memorial Hospital, but Steele confirmed that she had already died when she got there.
Forman killed Harooni Sunday night in a fit of rage after she joked that she had received a text message from an ex-boyfriend, Steele said. He later took a cellphone video of her lifeless body as it lay on the ground outside the house where he rented a room, state police said. In it, Forman could be heard saying, “This is what a cheating liar gets. You hear me? Cheating f-----g liar,” according to police.
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An Uber driver who had taken the couple home told police that during the drive, an angry Forman continually badgered Harooni for her cellphone. At one point, she told him, “You’re scaring me,” the driver said.
After dropping the couple off, the driver said he drove up the street but returned with his windows down and could hear the couple arguing. He said he waited until he could no longer hear any yelling – around five to 10 minutes – before driving off.
At some point in the night, Forman beat Harooni during what Steele called a “tragic, horrible, disturbing homicide.” He then took her body inside, went to sleep, got up and showered the next morning, attended a preliminary court hearing on felony drug charges and then finally returned and called an Uber to take Harooni’s body to the hospital, Steele said.
The Uber driver said Forman told him Harooni was hurt in a fight the night prior, a story that authorities say he repeated to hospital staff and later to police.
Court documents paint a frantic scene when they arrived at the hospital. Doctors and nurses desperately tried to revive Harooni despite feeling her “ice cold” skin and spotting bruising around her neck, dried blood in her nose and dried vomit in her mouth.
A nurse told police that Forman appeared calm as another nurse performed CPR on Harooni, and that he tried to give her Harooni’s cellphone and other possessions.
Investigators obtained warrants to search two phones taken from Forman at Pottstown Memorial Hospital. They found a photo taken shortly before midnight Sunday of Harooni, apparently unconscious and with disheveled hair, laying on the grass.
Police said he then shot the video before moving Harooni’s body inside and snapping another photo of her body, lying face-down on the floor.
As he was being taken into custody, Forman insisted to reporters that Harooni had been beaten up by three women before making an obscene gesture as he was put into a police car.
Steele said the case demonstrates a growing domestic violence problem in Montgomery County. Last year, relationship violence accounted for seven of the county’s 19 homicides, he said. The year prior, it accounted for nine of the 19.
“These types of killings are too frequent in our community, and they’re beginning to be the reason behind about half of our county’s homicides,” Steele said.
He implored people to seek help from police and Laurel House, the county’s domestic violence shelter.
“We as a community, as a society, have to do better with this,” Steele said.
Forman is being held without bail. Steele promised that he would be held “accountable for what he did to this young woman.”
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELP: The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or 800-787-3224 (TTY) provides people in distress, or those around them, with 24-hour support.