NEW YORK – Indian American Gangaram Maharaj, 60, has been charged with strangling his brother Rajendra Maharaj, 62, in Rajendra’s Jersey City apartment on February 27, 2016, after his DNA was found under Gangaram’s fingernails.
According to an NJ.com report, State Police forensic scientist Kimberly Michalik said that the statistics showed Gangaram Maharaj as a “match” for the DNA found, but were not robust enough to categorize him definitively as the “source” of the DNA.
Michalik added that DNA is transferable when a person simply touches an object that another person has touched and since both the brothers were living together in the same apartment, it is very likely that each of them would have the other’s DNA on themselves.
According to Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Najma Rana’s opening statement in court, Gangaram had scratches on his face and a bruised right eye when he was located after his brother’s body was discovered by their sister. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
A forensic pathologist had said in a previous testimony that Rajendra had a number of potentially life-threatening health issues, but when he was pronounced dead at the scene, it was apparent that the cause of death was strangulation as a result of neck compression.
An earlier testimony said that Gangaram, a retired pharmacist, was injured on the face when he was repairing one of his client’s ceilings which collapsed on him. Images of the hole in the building’s ceiling were shown during testimony, according to NJ.com.