A jury acquitted Aventura developer Adam Kaufman of second-degree murder in the death of his wife Tuesday.
The Kaufman family was joyous, with relatives hugging Kaufman, who was accused of strangling his wife, Eleanora Kaufman, in their Aventura home back in 2007.
"I'm able to just go home and put this all behind us as a family and move forward and look forward to raising my two kids without this looming over my head," said Kaufman, who maintains his wife's death was accidental.
His defense argued that 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.
Adam Kaufman walked out of the courtroom flanked by his lawyers, with his arms around both of their shoulders.
"She's here, she's been here through this whole thing, and she can finally rest in peace," Kaufman told reporters, as the last comment made him cry.
The 12-member jury began its deliberations around 10 a.m. after hearing the prosecution's closing rebuttal argument. During that presentation by prosecutor Matt Baldwin, a dramatic scene occurred.
Baldwin was trying to lessen the importance of a key moment in the trial: the testimony of the victim's mother, Frida Aizman, on behalf of Adam Kaufman. Baldwin asserted that Aizman only supported her son-in-law so she could continue to see her grandchildren. Aizman, who was sitting in court, blurted out, "Are you accusing me of lying?"
The judge ordered her to leave the courtroom.
Kaufman's team insisted 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.
The defense's narrative is not true, the state charged. It said Kaufman strangled his wife in a fit of rage.
But the jury found otherwise Tuesday. There were too many holes in the state's case to convict Kaufman, the jury foreman said.
"There was a plethora of circumstances that led to reasonable doubt," he said.
Kaufman's twin brother Seth, who took the stand to testify last Thursday, said the family is very grateful and happy about the verdict.
Adam Kaufman said he is going out for a drink with his lawyers and family.