- A former stock trader accused of murdering his wife allegedly tried to frame his 9-year-old daughter for the crime, New York City prosecutors said in a court filing on Monday that The New York Post obtained.
- Rod Covlin, 45, is set to stand trial later this month in the 2009 death of his estranged wife, Shele Danishefsky.
- Danishefsky, a financial advisor, was found dead by her daughter in her bathtub on New Year’s Eve in 2009.
A man charged with murder in the 2009 death of his estranged wife allegedly tried to pin the crime on his 9-year-old daughter, New York City prosecutors said Monday.
Shele Danishefsky, 47, was found dead by her daughter in the bathtub of her luxury Upper East Side apartment on New Year’s Eve in 2009, a day after she made an appointment with her lawyer to cut her husband, Rod Covlin, 45, out of her will, according to a Monday court filing the New York Post obtained.
Prosecutors say Covlin, a former stock trader turned backgammon pro, choked her and then staged her death to look like an accidental drowning.
While Covlin was always a suspect in the case, it wasn’t until 2015 that he was arrested.
Prosecutors allege that Covlin tried to frame his own daughter for his wife’s death in 2013, when he learned that the investigation was heating up again, the Post reported.
On June 25, 2013, prosecutors say Covlin wrote an Apple note that synced up with his daughter’s email account, in which he posed as the then-12-year-old girl and confessed to accidentally killing Danishefsky three years prior, according to the complaint the Post obtained.
“All of these years I have been so incredibly afraid and guilty about the night my mum died,” the note reportedly said.
“I lied. She didn’t just slip. That day we got into a fight about her dating … I got mad so I pushed her, but it couldn’t have been that hard! I didn’t mean to hurt her! I swear! But she fell and i (sic) heard a terrible noise and the water started turning red and I tried to pull her head up but she remained still…,” the letter reads, according to the filing.
Following Danishefsky’s death, the courts granted full custody of the couple’s daughter and son to Covlin’s parents, thus keeping him from controlling his financial advisor wife’s $US5 million fortune.
Prosecutors say Covlin was so obsessed with gaining control of the money that he even hatched multiple schemes to kill or imprison his parents.
According to a filing late last year, prosecutors said Covlin hatched a plan to have his daughter feed his parents rat poison-laced tea, but didn’t follow through with the plan.
He also allegedly coached his daughter to make a rape allegation against her grandfather, but she backed out, according to the Post.
Covlin’s girlfriend also recorded a conversation in which he detailed a plan to kidnap his daughter and marry her off in Mexico at the age of 14 in another effort to get his wife’s money, the Post reported in 2015.
Covlin was arrested and charged with Danishefsky’s murder in November 2015, just a few months before he was set to take control of the inheritance.
Jury selection is slated to start on January 14 in the case. If convicted, Covlin could face 25 years to life behind bars, according to the Post.
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