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Domestic Violence Leads to Murder Case for Defendant


A couple married in 1982. The husband was a surgical resident while the woman stayed home. Their marriage was marked by frequent fights and quarrels. Both of them argued and threatened each other.

A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said that one year after they were married, the wife called her cousin who was a divorce lawyer. Her voice was hoarse and she was speaking very rapidly. She told her cousin that she and her husband had an argument and that he assaulted her. She told him that he ended up strangling her until she lost consciousness. He advised her to move out of the house. She called to tell him later that she left their house and was staying at their grandfather’s house for a while. She also went to see her psychiatrist who stated that she noticed finger marks on the wife’s neck. They talked about what happened and she revealed that she was strangled and assaulted by her husband.

In 1984, the wife consulted a divorce lawyer. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said she had adulterous relationships with other men and wanted a divorce from her husband. In 1985, she told her friends and relatives that she was asking her husband for a divorce. She informed them that she was going to coerce him to grant her a divorce by threatening to reveal a letter sent to her by his psychiatrist. In this letter, the psychiatrist told the wife that during her sessions with her husband, he disclosed that he was entertaining thoughts of murdering her. The psychiatrist asked for the consent of the husband to disclose this fact to her.

The wife threatened her husband that unless he gave her a divorce, she would not only disclose the contents of the letter of the psychiatrist to his colleagues in the medical profession but that she would also testify as to the Medicare fraud he perpetrated.

They argued on July 7, 1985 and after that the wife disappeared. The husband had been evasive with the police. He gave inconsistent statements and he did not disclose that on July 8, 1985, he chartered a small airplane and piloted it himself. A Queens Criminal Lawyer said he flew the airplane to New Jersey for two hours. Even during the months that followed his wife’s disappearance, he had affairs with women and had them move in with him at the apartment he shared with his wife.

After years of investigation, the police and the district attorney pieced together a case of murder against the husband. The husband was convicted by a jury and his conviction was upheld by the Appellate Division. A Queens Criminal Lawyer said he now appears before the Supreme Court asking that his conviction be overturned because the prosecution was unable to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt using legally admissible evidence.

The only question before the Supreme Court is whether or not the conviction should be upheld.

First the Court explained that the wife’s body was not found. There were also no witnesses to the murder. All that the prosecution has proffered were circumstantial evidence. The Court however ruled that while each of the circumstantial evidence taken in isolation may be consistent with the claim of innocence of the husband, when all the circumstantial evidence is taken together, the natural and reasonable inferences can only lead to the conclusion that the husband murdered his wife.

Second, the husband’s propensity for domestic violence was a matter of record. Their three-year marriage was punctuated with domestic violence and threats of domestic violence. The husband was highly emotional and harbored profound hostility. He had disclosed his murderous intent to his psychiatrist and his psychiatrist obtained the husband’s consent to warn the wife about his murderous intentions.

The Court ruled that the trial court did not err when it ordered that the contents of the letter not be divulged to the jury. The only fact divulged to the jury was the existence of the letter and that it contained a warning to the wife about her husband’s expressed desire to kill her.

The Court upheld the conviction of the husband and affirmed the sentence of 20 years imprisonment.

A New York Domestic Violence lawyer will advice you that domestic violence is a viable ground for divorce. A NYC Domestic Violence attorney will also advice you that domestic violence cannot be ignored for it often escalates as in this case, the domestic violence went beyond assault and resulted in the murder of the victim. Do not ignore Domestic Violence. Confer with any of the NY Domestic Violence lawyers at Stephen Bilkis and Associates. Ask for their advice and assistance. The NYC Domestic Violence attorneys at Stephen Bilkis and Associates are happy to entertain questions at any of their offices conveniently located in the New York Area.

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