Wife's Death Was No Accident, Medical Examiner Tells Jury in Kaufman Case

Adam Kaufman is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Eleonora Kaufman

By Ari Odzer
|  Tuesday, May 22, 2012  |  Updated 7:53 PM EDT
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Miami-Dade County's chief medical examiner, Dr. Bruce Hyma, has been on the witness stand all day Tuesday, once again telling the jury Eleonora Kaufman's death was no accident.

Miami-Dade County's chief medical examiner, Dr. Bruce Hyma, has been on the witness stand all day Tuesday, once again telling the jury Eleonora Kaufman's death was no accident.

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Miami-Dade County's chief medical examiner, Dr. Bruce Hyma, has been on the witness stand all day Tuesday, once again telling the jury Eleonora Kaufman's death was no accident.

"To be more specific, I would have to actually have witnessed whatever happened, I wasn't there, what I can testify to is this was a mechanical force that was applied to her neck, it was homicide," said Hyma, who spent 18 months examining the evidence before ruling the death was a homicide.

Adam Kaufman is charged with second-degree murder. The state says he strangled his wife, also known as Lina, inside the couple's Aventura home back in 2007.

Kaufman, who has pleaded not guilty, maintains his wife's death was accidental. The 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.

Hyma says that doesn't make sense.

"The injuries are not consistent with that scenario," he said.

Under withering cross-examination, defense attorney Al Milian made several points to the jury: that Dr. Hyma was not present during the autopsy, that he relied on information supplied by a rookie Aventura detective who was conducting his first homicide investigation, and that he issued his finding of homicide before he received all the reports on the case.

The defense is expected to begin presenting its case to the jury Wednesday.

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