The man accused of killing his wife in 2009 appeared in court Monday in New York City, and according to prosecutors, he tried to marry off his young daughter in an attempt to get his hands on his slain wife’s will.
Authorities arrested Roderick Covlin, 44, two years ago for his estranged wife’s 2009 murder, New York Daily News reports.
One of Shele Danishefsky Covlin’s daughters found her dead in just a day before Shele was set to write Covlin out of her will.
Police arrested Covlin in 2015 after police received information from his then-girlfriend. The woman told police Covlin had “made statements implicating himself” in the murder. Since his arrest, he has been held without bond.
Reports say Covlin was two months shy of inheriting half of Shele’s $4 million fortune. The other half was meant to go to their two daughters. The inheritance was being held in a trust while Covlin was in the midst of a wrongful-death suit filed against him in 2011. Court documents said Covlin could end up inheriting the money on the conditions that the court/jury found him not guilty of her death, if he was no longer a suspect, or if it had been six years since Shele’s death.
Suspected killer Roderick Covlin claimed wife ‘fell’ in bath, tried to block access to daughter: prosecutors https://t.co/mETSdgVwgL
— Shayna Jacobs (@shaynajacobs) November 17, 2015
Shele started divorce proceedings shortly before her death.
Authorities initially ruled Shele’s death as undetermined after investigators thought she slipped and hit her head. Her Orthodox Jewish family refused an autopsy for religious reasons. However, the family agreed to have her body exhumed and examined, and medical examiners ruled in April 2010 that Shele died of strangulation.
At the time of her death, Covlin lived across the hall and still had a key to the apartment. Shele told her friends that her estranged husband threatened to hurt he. She she and her two kids obtained protective orders against him.
Covlin is also accused of attempting to arrange a marriage between his then 13-year-old daughter and a Mexican man, in a desperate bid to get the inheritance tied up in the wrongful-death suit. A witness allegedly recorded Colvin discussing a plan that involved paying a man in Mexico $10,000 to marry his daughter so that she would no longer be a minor, according to a report by Daily News written at the time.
His lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, argued that Covlin tried to protect his kid, and didn’t try to get money.
“He did something that looking back even Mr. Covlin would say obviously he shouldn’t have done, but it was not, again, money … it was to protect his children.”
[Feature Photo: Family Handout]