SYLVIE CACHAY's boyfriend Nicholas Brooks has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge which accuses him of killing the prominent New York fashion designer in Manhattan last month, reports the Wall Street Journal. Brooks entered the plea in court yesterday (4th January 2011) just days after it was revealed that prosecutors had upgraded the initial 'attempted murder' charge.
The 33-year-old swimsuit designer was found dead in an overflowing bathtub at a Manhattan spa on 9th December 2010 and medical examiners ruled that the death was a homicide. However, in a statement released by the district attorney's office, Brooks denied running the bath for Ms Cachay before leaving to have drinks, and claims he was sleeping and that he never went near the bathroom. Prosecutors state that the designers body was found lifeless with 'bloodied eyes' and a 'compressed neck' and that surveillance footage from the hotel shows that Brooks was the only person who spend considerable time in the room.
Brooks' attorney Jeffrey Hoffman said that he hadn't had chance to review the court papers but added, "From what I know now, my client was not present when this young lady died". If convicted of second-degree murder, the 26-year-old faces anywhere between 25 years to life in prison.