A New York man currently on trial for his wife’s brutal 2009 murder, is accused of convincing his then-toddler son to tell doctors that his mom was sexually molesting him.
Rod Covlin is accused of killing his wife, Shele Danishefsky, by snapping her neck her in a bathtub in her Manhattan apartment on December 31, 2009. Initially, her death was considered an accidental fall after her Orthodox Jewish family decided against an autopsy. A month later her body was exhumed, and a medical examiner determined her hyoid bone had been fractured. Subsequently, Covlin was arrested for her murder.
During testimony on Monday, prosecutors alleged that four months prior to Shele’s death, Covlin coached their son, Myles, 2 at the time, to say that Shele molested him, New York Post reports. Covlin reportedly went as far as taking the boy to the Columbia Presbyterian hospital in July 2009 to report it to physicians.
Dr. Robert Best, the doctor who evaluated Miles at the hospital, said the boy and his sister, Anna, were safe at home with their mother.
Rod Covlin Stands Trial For Murder Of Millionaire Wife https://t.co/TLBZAQ6mnM
— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) January 23, 2019
“Our first duty is to protect the children,” Best said. “And in this case, they were sent home to their mother.”
Angelberth Ezeogu, Investigation Specialist at the Administration for Children’s Services in New York, said Covlin resisted the doctor’s advice in allowing the kids to return to their mother.
When Covlin didn’t bring the children back to Shele, she became hysterical, Police officer Crystallee Vargas testified. Vargas, who reported to Shele’s home after a 911 call, testified that the mom was visibly upset and frightened for her children.
“She threw herself into my arms, hugged me and began to weep uncontrollably. She was pale, I remember her staring at me and just crying and shaking.”
At around 5:30 a.m., after Colvin allegedly argued with Ezeogu and stalled, the kids were returned home to Shele. Afterward, a family court judge ruled that due to the bogus molestation claim, Covlin’s visitations with the children would have to be supervised.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Covlin, a failed unemployed stock broker, is accused of killing his wife in an attempt to inherit her $4 million estate. He allegedly lived off of Shele’s money for years, while dating other women on the side and beating Shele when he became angry.
When Shele separated from him, Covlin hatched a plan to kill her and continue with the lifestyle she had provided him for years, prosecutors allege.
“This is a murder. If this is a murder the only human on the plant with motive, means, and opportunity is sitting across from you in the courtroom,” Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos said during an opening statement last week. “He is on trial for murdering the woman he hated… with all consuming anger.”
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Shele Danishefsky Covlin/Handout]