Accused murderer of estranged wife allegedly confessed to girlfriend

Julie Wiener

NEW YORK (JTA) — The man charged with murdering his estranged Jewish wife in Manhattan in 2009 allegedly confessed the crime to his girlfriend.

Information provided by the girlfriend of Roderick Covlin, 42, who was arraigned Monday, provided authorities with the evidence necessary to indict him in the death of Shele Danishefsky Covlin, according to the New York Post.

Danishefsky Covlin, a financial adviser worth $4 million who worked for UBS, was found dead in her bathtub on Jan. 1, 2010, hours before she was scheduled to sign documents removing her husband from her will. Her death initially was ruled an accident.

Danishefsky Covlin, 47, had already obtained a Jewish divorce, or get, from Covlin, and the two were in the process of divorcing according to civil law. She had obtained a restraining order against him, barring him from contact with her and their two children, but he still possessed a key to the family’s Upper West Side apartment and was living across the hall.

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Danishefsky Covin was a member of Lincoln Square Square Synagogue, a modern Orthodox congregation that subsequently named a fund in her honor. Covlin, who was arrested at the commuter rail station in Scarsdale, an affluent New York suburb, is a former stock trader. He is also a competitive backgammon player and the founding executive director of the U.S. Backgammon Federation.

He is pleading not guilty. If convicted, he faces from 25 years to life in prison, according to the Post. The couple’s two children, who are living with Covlin’s parents, are 9 and 15.

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