A Brooklyn sex offender locked up on Rikers Island for beating his estranged girlfriend, took revenge on her less than 24 hours after being let out of jail – strangling the terrified woman in her own home, authorities said.
Jerome Rivers called Gia Pender Thursday to ask if he could stay with her. The call sent Pender, who had an order of protection against Rivers, scrambling to a neighbor. “Jerome is coming over,” she told the neighbor.
“If anything happens to me, give this to my mother,” she presciently added.
Pender, 49, feared the 52-year-old Rivers, who had been jailed for two months because he violated the terms of his release as a sex offender by attacking her. Rivers did time in 2013 on third-degree sex abuse charges, according to official records.
Rivers arrived at the woman’s Queens home, and then called cops around 6 a.m. the next day, saying he awoke to a “thump” and found Pender on the bedroom floor, the Queens district attorney said.
He later told cops he didn’t “have a reason to kill her,” according to the DA’s office, but he made a point of telling them she’d stolen stolen his checks, “disrespected his mother, and had him locked up on trumped up domestic abuse charges.”
Officials determined Pender had been strangled to death.
Rivers was arraigned Sunday on charges of second-degree murder and criminal contempt, and held without bail.
If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown called the killing “senseless,” adding, “Domestic violence is a plague in our society and must end.”