A new detail that could mean bad news for a man accused of murdering his wife came out in court Tuesday.
Roderick Covlin, 44, is accused of murdering his estranged wife on New Year’s Eve 2009. Authorities initially ruled her death an accident, but it changed to a homicide when an autopsy revealed strangulation. Covlin wasn’t arrested until 2015 after he allegedly confessed to his then-girlfriend about the crime.
Covlin told detectives that he received a hysterical phone call from his 9-year-old daughter and ran across the hall to the apartment where his estranged wife and daughters lived. He said found his wife, Shele Danishefsky, face-down in her bathtub. He said he pulled her out of the tub to resuscitate her, but it was too late.
Sergeant Yadelie Sanchez testified in court Tuesday that Covlin’s clothes were dry when police arrived on the scene, according to the New York Post. She also said that Covlin gave her a story that his wife fell in the bathtub and hit her head.
“She was trying to grab something, a piece of wood broke, and she landed in the bathtub and hit her head,” Colvin reportedly said.
Sanchez said that Covlin was visibly distressed at the time. He was shaking, gagging, and hugged her supervisor.
The new information implies that Covlin changed his clothes before police got to the apartment, since he was in the presence of police the entire time after they arrived.
The New York Post previously reported that Covlin changed the story about how he found Shele’s body multiple times.
He first told an officer that his daughter came to the apartment to retrieve him, then told another officer that his daughter called him.
“I got a call from my daughter that woke me up stating that something was wrong and she let me into the apartment.”
Colvin’s lawyer argued Tuesday that statements he made to police at the scene shouldn’t be admissible in trial because they weren’t made voluntarily. Prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos argued that at the time Covlin spoke with police, the apartment wasn’t a crime scene and the case wasn’t a homicide.
[Feature Photo: Family Handout]