Closing arguments were held Monday in the trial of Aventura developer Adam Kaufman, charged with murdering his wife.
Kaufman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his wife Eleanora Kaufman.
Prosecutors maintain that Adam Kaufman strangled his wife, also known as Lina, inside the couple's Aventura home back in 2007.
Kaufman maintains his wife's death was accidental. His defense says Lina Kaufman suffered some type of heart attack or possibly a seizure, then pitched over and slammed her neck on a metal magazine rack in the bathroom.
"They lived the American dream. They appeared to have the perfect marriage, but we know their marriage was not perfect because perfect marriages do not end like this, with injuries all over Lina Kaufman," said prosecutor Joe Mansfield in his closing argument. "It was not a natural death. It was not an accident. A crime was committed. She was murdered."
Defense attorney Bill Matthewman gave his closing argument for his client late Monday afternoon.
"No American citizen should have to endure what Adam Kaufman has had to endure in this case," he said.
Matthewman added, "This American tragedy began on Nov. 7, 2007 and led to this flawed, bungled, prosecution of an innocent man."
Kaufman's team insists Lina Kaufman, who reportedly had a history of fainting spells, passed out in the bathroom and struck her neck on the rack, and that her husband tried to revive her.
"You hear him doing CPR, it's over two minutes for the dispatcher to send the ambulance," defense attorney Ben Matthewson said.
The defense's narrative is not true, the state charges. It says Kaufman strangled his wife in a fit of rage.
"This defendant is guilty of second-degree murder," Mansfield told jurors. "Go back to that jury room and convict him of it, and don't be afraid to come out here and say we're going to hold you accountable, Adam Kaufman, for what you did to your wife."
The last defense witness, Dr. Michael Baden, told the jury that Lina Kaufman’s death was caused by a heart condition, not by murder.
His testimony may carry considerable weight with the jury based on his credentials: the former chief medical examiner of New York City, he was appointed by Congress to re-investigation the Kennedy and King assassinations, and he gave expert testimony in the O.J. Simpson and Klaus Von Bulow trials.
The state’s last rebuttal witness was a young woman from Boca Raton, Fara Corenblum. The prosecution’s point was to show that contrary to earlier testimony, Adam and Lina Kaufman did not have a storybook marriage and that there were troubles between them. Corenblum is evidence of that because Adam Kaufman started dating her within two months of his wife’s death, prosecutors said.
But Corenblum’s testimony, if anything, cast a sympathetic light on Kaufman.
“I prefer to call it a friendship, not a relationship, because Adam was emotionally unavailable,” Corenblum said. “His wife had just passed, and he told me he could not fully commit to a relationship. He still wore his wedding ring and often told me he still loved Lina.”
The jury begins its deliberations Tuesday.