The courtroom got heated in the Adam Kaufman murder trial as an Aventura, Florida, police detective admitted to having an affair with the lead investigator.
Kaufman is on trial for allegedly killing his wife, Lina, in November 2007. The case made national headlines in 2009 when Kaufman's defense suggested she died from an allergic reaction to a spray tan.
During opening statements Monday, the defense made no reference to the spray tan theory, and instead, blamed the death on an undiagnosed heart problem that caused fainting spells.
Defense attorney William Matthewman also said the investigation was botched. Detective Anna Howell's admission that she misrepresented her relationship with the lead investigator may affect how the jury perceives her.
On Wednesday, Howell testified that she didn't socialize with lead investigator Anthony Angelo outside of work. But after testifying, Howell talked to prosecutors about the exact nature of her relationship with Angelo. So Thursday morning, prosecutors called Howell back to the stand and she admitted to having an affair with Angelo. When Howell was done testifying she stormed out of the courtroom and opened the door to the courtroom so forcefully it hit the wall.
In Session's law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks says Howell's inconsistencies on the stand could support the defense's theory that the police work wasn't as thorough as it should have been. Brooks also says that not only does Howell's admission hurt her credibility in Kaufman's trial, but it will also hurt her credibility if she ever testifies in future trials. And Howell's job may be in jeopardy, said Brooks.
What happened to Lina Kaufman?
Kaufman told police that he found his wife non-responsive in the master bedroom of their home in the early morning hours of November 7, 2007. Kaufman called 911, and the operator coached him on how to administer CPR.
Kaufman told first responders he was at home all night with his wife and children, but a short time later, police say they noticed that the hood of his car was hot to the touch. He also told the first responders he found his wife kneeling in front of the toilet bowl as if she were about to vomit. Kaufman later told emergency room doctors he found his wife seated on the toilet with her body forward and neck leaning on a magazine rack.
Prosecutors say Adam Kaufman choked his wife to death, and the deep bruising on her neck proves it.
The autopsy revealed marks on her neck indicating deep tissue injuries. For almost a year and a half medical examiners listed the cause of death as undetermined. Eventually, her death was ruled a homicide with "mechanical asphyxiation" as the cause of death. This means something, or someone, applied external pressure to Lina's neck, preventing her from breathing.
A twist in the case
In an unusual twist, Lina Kaufman's parents are actually listed on the defense's witness list. Matthewman said in a pre-trial hearing that her parents will testify in support of their son-in-law's position that he did not kill their daughter.
Watch the trial live on In Session on truTV and when you can't watch, follow the trial on Twitter #AdamKaufman.