Jury finds Kaufman not guilty in wife's death

Kaufman 'couldn't be happier' after not guilty verdict

Published On: Jun 05 2012 12:35:21 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 06 2012 04:47:44 PM EDT
Adam Kaufman
MIAMI -

Adam Kaufman was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of his wife Tuesday.

Kaufman was accused of killing his wife, Lina Kaufman, in November 2007. The defense claimed Lina Kaufman had a heart condition and collapsed in the bathroom of the home they shared.

The verdict came Tuesday afternoon, after jurors spent the day deliberating.

WATCH: RAW VIDEO: Verdict announced

"I can't be happier to be able to go home to my two children and know that this tragedy first with my wife's passing compounded by my arrest for a crime that I should never have been arrested for," Adam Kaufman said. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about her and she's here, she's, she's she was watching over this and she can finally rest in peace now."

Kaufman's family and friends said they were thrilled that a nightmare was over.

"The truth has come out which is what we wanted the whole time," Kaufman's twin brother, Seth, said.

"We're celebrating our daughter-in-law, Lina, that's what we're celebrating and life goes on and we all will go on," Adam's mother, Elaine Kaufman said.

Prior to beginning their deliberations and receiving the judge's instructions, jurors heard the state's rebuttal closing argument, and it touched off an emotional reaction from Lina Kaufman's mother.

The prosecutor implored jurors to use common sense when deliberating, suggesting that science doesn't lie, but people do.

To that end, he attacked the credibility of the victim's mother, Frida Aizman, who was in court, clutching a prayer book. She appeared to ignore much of what the prosecutor had to say until he questioned her allegiance, reminding the jury she testified for the defense, on behalf of the man accused of killing her daughter.

That triggered Aizman to make an emotional outburst.

"What do you think would happen if she didn't support him?" prosecutor Matthew Baldwin said during his argument. "Do you think for a second she would be seeing her grandchildren, with her husband in Italy and her son in Denmark? She is alone here. This is her tie, the joy of her life. Do you think she's going to go against him?"

"Are you accusing me of lies?" Aizman said.

That reaction cost Aizman her seat in the courtroom. However, after the verdict was read, Kaufman and Aizman embraced.

"Nothing to say anymore," Aizman said. "Everybody knows, he was never guilty."

Throughout its closing argument, the state ripped into Adam Kaufman's claim that his wife had a heart disease, fainted, fell and struck her neck on a leather magazine holder, cutting off her airway.

There were eight men and four women on the jury. Their first duty was to select a foreperson, then they more than likely did a quick vote to see where everyone stood.

"The overwhelming evidence and the forensics evidence that was laid out by the prosecution as well as the defense helped to draw the conclusion of not guilty for Mr. Kaufman," jury foreman Bernard Jennings said.

The jury interrupted its deliberations three times Tuesday to ask questions of the judge. Once, jurors asked to view slides used during the former medical examiner's demonstration, but the judge denied that request. The jury also asked for a transcript of Adam Kaufman's 911 call, but the judge said the jurors should listen to the call instead.

The jury had three choices: to convict Adam Kaufman of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; to convict Adam Kaufman of the lesser charge of manslaughter, which carries a maximum of 15 years in prison; or to acquit Adam Kaufman, which is what it did.

As for the former defendant's immediate plans, Kaufman said: "There have been a lot of sidebars in this trial. Right now, I'm going to a real bar."