Adam Kaufman Trial: Prosecutors Say Lust Was Motive


A Happy Marriage?

Two of Eleonora's good friends spoke to the jury Monday morning, called as witnesses for the prosecution. Rina Azula and Melissa Fedowitz, both longtime friends of Eleonora Kaufman, spoke to the jury about what they called a wonderful marriage between Adam and Eleonora.

"They were good together," Azula told the court, adding that Eleonora exercised and was in "supreme" health.

Questions about Eleonora's medical history came up again as the prosecution tried to end the defense's claim that she died of a pre-existing heart condition.

"We would rollerblade together, she would come to spinning classes with me, [doing] a very high intensity workout," Fedowitz said, adding that Eleonora never complained of a shortness of breath.

Dr. Bruce Hyma, the chief medical examiner in Miami-Dade County, discussed everything he could think of that could have been responsible for Eleonora Kaufman's death other than a homicide, before ultimately decided she was killed. Hyman even brought up the spray-tan theory when prompted by the prosecution.

The case against Kaufman, who had two children with his wife, first gained national attention in 2009 at a bond hearing when Kaufman's lawyers initially blamed the death on a violent, allergic reaction to the spray tan she'd just gotten. Attorneys said that theory was disproved by science.

"[It] could be heavy metal in the spray tan -- arsenic or led -- so samples were sent off to the national medical services … those results were not remarkable at all," Hyman said. "They found some traces of mercury, but [they] were not over for someone living on a coastline like we are. Seafood could explain that small amount of mercury.

Hyma also explained that everything from Eleonora Kaufman's toxicology to more testing proved that she died of mechanical asphyxiation. He even stated that the scarring found in Eleonora's heart did not cause her death, or have any role in her death. The defense maintains that's what may have killed her.

"She died with the scar -- not because of it," Hyma said.

The defense team will get its chance to cross-examine Hyma on morning. The trial is expected to last several weeks.

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