Doctor: Woman's death 'not natural, not accident'

Testimony continues in Adam Kaufman trial

By Ben Kennedy - Reporter

MIAMI - Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of an Aventura man accused of killing his wife.

Adam Kaufman is accused of strangling his wife, Lina Kaufman, in their home in 2007.

Dr. Satish Chundru was called to the stand Wednesday to talk about his fellowship in 2007 with the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office, where he supervised the autopsy of Lina Kaufman.

"It's not natural, not an accident, not a suicide. It can only go out as one of two things: homicide or undetermined," Chundru said.

Adam Kaufman's attorneys claimed that Lina Kaufman, 33, suffered from a heart condition and had a heart attack the night she died. They claimed she collapsed and hit her neck on a magazine rack.

"That would not cause these type of injuries. There is no doubt," Chundru said.

Chundru testified that Lina Kaufman had a normal-functioning heart and that she died from mechanical asphyxiation.

But Adam Kaufman's attorney, Albert Milian, called Chundru's findings into question, claiming Chundru was inexperienced and missed some scarring on Lina Kaufman's heart, which was discovered during a different autopsy.

When asked whether scarring in the heart tissue can lead to people collapsing and can lead to death, Chundru said, "yes."

The medical examiner's report also noted that bruises were found on Lina Kaufman's back, arms and chin.

On Wednesday, jurors saw photographs of the Kaufmans' home for the first time, the bedroom and the bathroom that police called the crime scene, where they alleged that Adam Kaufman killed his wife. They saw what appeared to be a blood-smudged floor.

Aventura police crime technician Ana Howell showed the jury the magazine rack that the defense said was responsible for the marks and bruises to Lina Kaufman's body when she fell after collapsing from a heart condition.

Adam Kaufman's attorney relentlessly went after the technician, saying she didn't impound critical evidence to the case.

"Did you test the tops of the magazines?" said William Mathewman, another attorney for Adam Kaufman.

"There wasn't anything there," Howell said.

"I didn't ask that question. I asked you, did you swab or test the tops of the magazines?" Mathewman said.

"No, I did not," Howell said.

"Did you test the mark on the wall?" Mathewman said.

"No, because there was nothing of evidentiary value," Howell said.

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