Kaufman trial in recess until Tuesday

Man charged with 2nd-degree murder in wife's death

Author: John Turchin, Crime Specialist, jturchin@local10.com
Published On: Jun 04 2012 03:50:30 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 05 2012 10:46:23 AM EDT
MIAMI -

The state is expected to wrap up its rebuttal closing argument Tuesday in the murder trial of Aventura real estate developer Adam Kaufman.

The state and the defense each get an hour and a half to present their cases to the jury. Prosecutor Joe Mansfield was up first, followed by Kaufman's lawyer, William Matthewman. 

"Explain these injuries," Mansfield said to the court, "because so far, they're not explained." 

Lina Kaufman was found unconscious in the bathroom of the couple's home in Aventura on the morning of Nov. 7, 2007. She died soon after. The state contends she was strangled. The defense claims it was an accident, that the 33-year-old had a heart disease, fainted while sitting on the toilet and fell, landing on a magazine rack. 

Closings began methodically Monday afternoon, with the prosecutor walking jurors through each piece of evidence and each person who testified.

Kaufman's entire family -- his mother, father, twin brother, aunts, uncles and cousins -- and friends were in the courtroom.

Mansfield told jurors that Kaufman strangled the life out of his wife, wrapping his hands around her neck in the bathroom of the couple's Aventura home.

Matthewman insisted that the state's case is based on "unproven allegations and speculation." He told the jury that the medical examiner missed Lina Kaufman's undiagnosed medical problems and bungled the case, calling it "an American tragedy."

The state will present its rebuttal closing argument Tuesday morning, after which the jury is expected to begin deliberations.

Kaufman is charged with second-degree murder.