Inmate accused in kidnap plot changes plea to guilty

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A man who was convicted in 1993 of killing a Manhasset man, and was indicted in November on a charge of plotting to kidnap and assault the former Nassau County assistant district attorney who prosecuted him, changed his plea from not guilty to guilty on Friday.

Chandran Nathan, 59, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal solicitation, and faces from 3 1/2 years to seven years in prison.

An investigation found that he offered $10,000 to abduct the former prosecutor, Fred Klein, and place him in handcuffs and assault him, prosecutors said.

He requested that Klein be beaten — but not around his face — and waterboarded to force him to make a videotaped statement saying Nathan’s confession was coerced, prosecutors said.

Nathan allegedly wanted Klein to mention a few cases he prosecuted so the video would not be linked back to him, the district attorney’s office said.

“From his upstate prison cell, this defendant tried have a former prosecutor brutally beaten in a foolhardy effort to coerce fake evidence to exonerate him of a past crime,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “We take any threat to our current and former colleagues extremely seriously, and thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Nassau County Police Department, state Department of Corrections, and our investigators, this defendant’s scheme was exposed, stopped, and he was aggressively prosecuted.”

Nathan, an inmate at Shawangunk Correctional Facility in upstate New York,  was sentenced to  37 years in prison in 1994 for killing Shaleen Wadhwani, a 20-year-old medical student from Manhasset, who was engaged to Hema Sakhrani.

Nathan shot Wadhwani 11 times with a semiautomatic rifle at his home in Manhasset on May 26, 1993. Nathan was obsessed with Sakhrani and was angered over her engagement to Wadhwani with whom she was living, prosecutors said.

Two days after Wadhwani was killed, Sakhrani committed suicide by jumping from the 16th-floor terrace of her family’s Queens apartment.

Efforts to reach Klein, who is now a law professor at Hofstra University, were unavailing.

“His motivation basically was that he had exhausted all of his appeals, and I think he should be examined to determine his stability,” Stephen Murphy, Nathan’s defense lawyer, said in November.

Murphy said Nathan wanted to get out of jail to care for his mother, who has cancer.

Murphy was not Nathan’s attorney in the 1994 case.

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