Adam Kaufman Trial: Detectives Handling Case Had Affair

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.PlayABC NEWS
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A jury hearing the case of Adam Kaufman, the Florida real estate developer accused of strangling his wife to death in 2007, learned that a detective investigating the case at the hospital and couple's residence had an affair years prior with the lead detective on the Kaufman case.

While prosecutors say that Adam Kaufman strangled his wife to death at their Aventura, Florida home, he maintains that he found his wife, 33, on the bathroom floor of the couple's home in the early morning of Nov. 7, 2007. His defense lawyers say Eleonora "Lina" Kaufman died of a heart condition.

While being questioned by Kaufman's defense attorney Thursday, Detective Anna Howe of the Aventura Police department -- who is still married to the same man she was at the time she was involved with Detective Anthony Angula, the lead detective on the Kaufman case -- admitted to the affair and that her husband is aware of it.

"My husband knows it, and our marriage is good," Detective Howe told the court.

Howe also admitted that she was told by Angula at the time to not take into any of the magazines in the magazine rack where Eleonora allegedly fell as evidence.

Defense attorneys argued that the year worth of magazines in the magazine rack are in fact evidence, showing Howe a picture that she admitted shows organic material on the magazines.

Howe told the jury that she didn't see any organic material on the magazines or the wall of the bathroom on November 7, 2007 when she was collecting evidence at the Kaufman home. Howe said she would have obviously taken those items into evidence had she seen them.

Confusing Police Reports

Robert Meyers of the Aventura Police Department, who was one of the original officers at the hospital the day Eleonora Kaufman died, told the jury he overheard Adam Kaufman tell three different versions of what happened when he found his wife.

Officer Meyers testified that he heard Adam Kaufman tell detectives that he found his wife with her neck resting on the toilet bowl, but testified he later heard Kaufman tell detectives he found her in the bathroom with her head on the magazine rack. Later, Meyers told the jury he overheard Kaufman say he found his wife cold and slumped over the toilet.

Meyers also told the jury that even though he couldn't see Adam Kaufman and Eleonora's mother, he heard the two yelling moments after Eleonora's death.

"I heard her wailing and shrieking and yelling at Adam, "Why, why, why Adam how did this happen?"" Meyers testified. "I then heard Adam reply 'I don't [explicative] know why, I don't [explicative] know why.'"

While being questioned by defense attorney Alberto Milian, Meyers admitted he didn't actually know who Eleonora's mother was, and that he couldn't tell Adam apart from his twin brother Seth.

Officer Meyers also said he never put any conversations he allegedly overheard from Adam Kaufman into his police report, and that he threw away all of the notes he took that day. Milian called his police report incomplete.

Adam Kaufman Trial: New Medical Examiner Testifies

Former Associate Medical Examiner supervisor Dr. Satish Chundru testified on behalf of the state Thursday morning that he was the supervisor in the room at the time, but did not watch over Eleonora Kaufman's autopsy.

As prosecutors described two possible scenarios of how Adam Kaufman said he found his wife in the morning of her death, Dr. Chundry told the jury that neither of the explanations -- one with Eleonora hitting the magazine rack or the other, with Eleonora leaning on the toilet bowl -- could cause the injuries to the neck she sustained.

When asked about the alleged three botched intubations performed on Eleonora Kaufman, Dr. Chundry replied that the injuries she sustained could not have been caused by the intubation process.

Dr. Chundry also testified that Eleonora Kaufman's heart was the most normal heart he could see in an autopsy. When asked about the scar that independent medical examiners found months after her initial autopsy, he replied "I could find a scar that size in every case I see."

Eleonora Kaufman's death first made headlines back in 2009 when the defense initially said it was caused by a violent, allergic reaction to a spray tan, but that theory has since been scrapped. Adam Kaufman's lawyers are now using the defense that she died of a heart attack from a pre-existing heart condition.

Testimony continues Monday morning in Miami, and the trial is expected to last several weeks.