MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s been a day of delays in the murder trial of Adam Kaufman, an Aventura developer accused of killing his wife Lina in 2007.
Thursday morning court got started late. The prosecution then finished with who was thought to be their final witness, retired physicist Dr. James Ipser, who began his testimony on Wednesday.
The state called the physicist to counter claims that after Lina had a heart attack in the bathroom, she collapsed and her neck ended up draped over a magazine rack. Kaufman said his wife had a history of heart problems and had fainted on a number of occasions in the past.
Dr. Ipser testified that do to her positioning of her body, it would have been physically impossible to fall the way the defense said she did.
The defense then ripped into the Ipser, claiming he was a last minute witness brought in for a fee to give the prosecution the conclusions they wanted.
Prosecutors maintain that Kaufman strangled his wife to death in their condo in November 2007 and then concocted a story to cover his crime.
After Ipser’s testimony, the jury was excused until 11 a.m.
The defense expected to call their first witness when court resumed, but then the state called an unexpected witness who had not been anticipated.
Just before 2 p.m., the defense was finally able to call their first witness.
Miami-Dade fire/rescue Capt. Joseph Carman testified that he was the first responder to enter the house the morning Kaufman died.
He said he found Adam giving Lina CPR, and that Adam was wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts.
This would support Kaufman’s claim he awoke after a night of sleep to discover his wife collapsed in the bathroom. The defense has argued others who said Kaufman was fully dressed, like he had recently arrived home, mistook his identical twin brother Seth who had rushed over after getting a call from his brother.
Matthewman then called Lina Kaufman’s mother to the stand.
Frida Aizman testified that Adam and Lina Kaufman had a loving relationship.
“It was very happy. I saw only good stuff from those two,” said Aizman.
“They had a very good, loving relationship,” defense attorney William Matthewman asked.
“Absolutely,” Aizman replied.
Lina’s mother said her daughter had a history of fainting spells. She said she was not surprised when she got a call the morning her daughter died and was told Lina had “passed out.”
“I was not surprised, because it had happened (10 or 12 times) before,” said Aizman.
The mother’s testimony supported Kaufman’s account that he awoke to find Lina collapsed in the bathroom, her neck draped over a magazine holder.
“Have you ever heard that Adam had ever raised a finger to her,” asked Matthewman.
“No,” Aizman replied.
“He never raised his voice to her,” the attorney asked. “No,” replied the mother.
Aizman said she and her son-in-law were “very, very close.”
“Are you still close with Adam,” she was asked. “Even more now than before,” she said.
“Do you love Adam?”
“Yes, like my own son.”
On cross examination, Aizman conceded that she never mentioned her daughter’s history of fainting spells during an earlier, sworn statement she gave prosecutors.
Matthewman claims no crime was committed here.
But on earlier in the week, Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Dr. Bruce Hyma testified that his office found that the bruising on Lina’s neck were consistent with manual strangulation. He said they also found scratches on her which were consistent with her trying to claw someone’s hands from around her throat.
Kaufman, who is charged with second degree murder, could be sentenced to life in prison if he is convicted.