Adam Kaufman Trial: Prosecutors Say Lust Was Motive

PHOTO: Adam Kaufman said he found his wife, 33-year-old Eleanora, on the bathroom floor of the couples Aventura home on the morning of Nov. 7, 2007.
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Arguments between Florida prosecutors and defense attorneys escalated into a courtroom uproar at the trial of Adam Kaufman as the defendant's sister-in-law took the stand amid accusations that his possible infidelity motivated him to kill his wife.

This is the second week of testimony in the second-degree murder trial of Kaufman, who is accused of strangling wife Eleonora Kaufman to death in their Aventura, Fla., home. The defense maintains that the real estate developer is innocent, and that his wife died from a pre-existing heart condition.

Adam Kaufman says he found his wife, 33, on the bathroom floor of the couple's home in the early morning of Nov. 7, 2007.

As Raquel Kaufman, Adam's sister-in-law, took the stand Monday in the Miami courtroom, prosecuting attorneys started to ask her whether she, her husband, Seth, and Adam Kaufman had gone on a group date with another woman. The question quickly raised objections from the defense, forcing Judge Bronwyn Miller to send the jury out of the courtroom.

Prosecutors argued to the judge that Adam Kaufman's possible motive was lust, and claimed that he started seeing another woman just after his wife died.

"Here he's asking this girl out with his dead wife's wedding ring on his finger, the next month, December of '07," prosecutor Matthew Baldwin said when the jury was not present. "By January, February, they're having regular sex. He was not exactly devastated by his wife's passing. I mean, the best analogy I can think of is when Casey Anthony [got a] a tattoo."

The mention of Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee last summer, drew loud objections from the defense, who called the accusation slanderous. Anthony had gotten a tattoo reading "bella vita," or "beautiful life" in Italian, while her girl was still missing.

Defense attorney Bill Matthewman told Judge Miller that Adam Kaufman never had any affair outside of his marriage, and that he had been in his home for two months after his wife's death. He said that the aforementioned group outing was Raquel and Seth's way of getting him out of the house.

State prosecutors admitted they didn't have any evidence that Kaufman ever cheating on his wife before her death. Judge Miller ruled that any testimony about a possible woman that Kaufman might have been seeing was not admissible at that time, and could not be brought up in front of the jurors.

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