A man facing trial for his wife's murder tried to pin her death on his 9-year-old daughter by writing an email confession from her account, prosecutors said.
Roderick Covlin, 45, is expected to stand trial for the 2009 killing of his wife, Shele Danishefsky, who was found dead in a bathtub in her New York City apartment amid a bitter divorce battle. Prosecutors allege Colvin choked his wife to death on New Year’s Eve, just one day before she was scheduled to meet with her laywer to remove Covlin from her will, according to the New York Post.
The stockbroker is expected to face trial later this month, but prosecutors are hoping if he decides to take the stand jurors will also be able to hear about an email he allegedly wrote in 2013 from his daughter Anna’s account confessing to the crime to her legal guardian. She was 9 years old when her mother died and 12 when the email was written.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos called the email, which was never sent, an “attempt to frame his daughter for murder,” according to the New York Daily News.
“I herd her go into her room and run the bath so I went in and argued some more and she told me to go back to my room and I got mad so I pushed her, but it couldn't have been that hard!,” the email said according to court documents.
“I didn’t mean to hurt her! I swear! But she fell and i heard a terrible noise and the water started turning red and I tried to pull her head up but she remained still,” the message went on to say.
Prosecutors allege that Covlin wrote the email himself in an attempt to try to deflect attention away from himself as a suspect in the case.
Prosecutors have also accused Covlin of telling his daughter to accuse her grandfather, who has been caring for her along with her grandmother, of raping her. As part of the alleged ruse, he gave her instructions on how to break her own hymen, the New York Post reports.
In another alleged plot, prosecutors claim he planned to kidnap his daughter and marry her off to someone in Mexico for $10,000 so he could gain access to her trust fund, according to the Daily News.
Covlin lost out on control of his children's $5 million inheritance after his parents were granted custody after Danishefsky's death.
Investigators initially believed that Danishefsky may have slipped and fallen in the shower and no initial autopsy was conducted after her Orthodox Jewish family had objected to it. However, with her family’s permission, the body was later exhumed and medical examiners concluded in 2010 that she had been strangled to death.
Covlin’s alleged plots relating to his daughter have been precluded from the trial, but Bogdanos is arguing that if Covlin takes the stand in his defense it should reopen the matter and that jurors should be able to hear the allegations.
Jury selection in the trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 14.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.