Second-degree murder defendant Adam Kaufman had an emotional afternoon in court Thursday as his twin brother, Seth Kaufman, took the stand.
“I ran up the stairs, first thing I saw was Adam, completely hysterical,” said Kaufman, his voice cracking, as tears streamed down his brother’s face.
Seth Kaufman described what he saw when he and his fiancée rushed over to his brother’s house in Aventura the morning that Eleanora Kaufman died.
“She was lying on the bedroom floor, and the EMTs were working on her,” Seth Kaufman said, reliving the traumatic experience of Nov. 7, 2007.
The state called him to the stand as a rebuttal witness after the defense rested its case, presumably because Seth Kaufman testified that Adam Kaufman was wearing jeans and a T-shirt when he arrived at the house. That rebuts the testimony of the first firefighter at the scene, who told the jury that Adam Kaufman was in boxer shorts when entry to the house was made. The state is trying to imply that he was fully dressed because he had been out on the town, not sleeping, just before he allegedly killed his 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.
“This is not a homicide by any means, and certainly not a homicide by mechanical asphyxiation,” Baden said.
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 trial resumes Monday with closing arguments expected from both sides.