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Stein Killer to Cops: A Ninja Did it!

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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'BERRY ANGRY Lowery

Yesterday, Natavia Lowery, the former assistant to murdered ex-Ramones manager and real estate broker Linda Stein, pleaded not guilty to charges that she beat her boss to death with a yoga stick after Stein blew pot smoke in her face and called her a racial epithet. This may come as a surprise to some, given that Lowery has already offered up a detailed confessed to the killing! What gives?

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According to court documents released yesterday, at 10:00 p.m. on November 8—nine days after the murder took place—Lowery told police that a "masked man in black" broke into Stein's apartment with a hammer, whacked her seven times while Lowery was in another room, and told Lowery, "You'll be the last one to see her alive," before fleeing. By 6:40 a.m. the next morning, however, Lowery, reportedly pregnant, copped to the death-by-yoga-stick story; police even had a videotaped confession by 7:47 a.m. The reason for the switcheroo? "She was locked in an interrogation room for 12 hours, deprived of her telephone and BlackBerry," says Lowery's attorney, Ronald Kuby. Locked in a room for half a day with no BlackBerry?! It must have been a veritable Abu Ghraib in there!

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