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Prosecutors: Dad Wrote Fake Murder Confession, Not Young Daughter

Girl would've been 9 when she allegedly killed her mom; prosecutors say Rod Covlin actually did it
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2019 7:40 AM CST
Attorney Robert Gottlieb, left, speaks to reporters in New York on Nov. 2, 2015. Gottlieb was representing Roderick Covlin, who was arrested on a murder charge in a case full of dramatic twists.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – Prosecutors have submitted a court filing before the trial of a New York stockbroker, seeking to admit evidence they say would be pertinent to the case that he murdered his estranged wife in 2009 and then tried to get access to the millions she left behind. Among the accusations against 45-year-old Roderick Covlin: that he penned a false confession three years after Shele Danishefsky's death, purportedly written by their daughter, Anna, who was 9 years old when she found her mother's body in a bathtub on New Year's Eve. "All of these years I have been so incredibly afraid and guilty about the night my mom died," the note read. Anna would've been 12 at the time she supposedly wrote it, per the New York Post. "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!"

The June 2013 confession, synced to Anna's email account, was never sent and was merely left for authorities to find, prosecutors say, per the New York Daily News. Danishefsky had been set to remove Covlin from her will on Jan. 1, 2010, the day after she was found dead, per Fox News; he was arrested in late 2015. Prosecutors also say Covlin mulled a plan to kill his own parents, who were granted custody of Anna and her brother, and tried to get Anna to frame her grandfather for rape, with Covlin instructing her on how to break her hymen with a cucumber. Prosecutors also have a December 2013 call his then-girlfriend recorded in which he allegedly told her that, in a ploy to access Anna's trust fund, he wanted to abduct the young teen and marry her off in Mexico. Jury selection for Covlin's trial begins next week. ("Greed" was reportedly behind the murder of a California family.)

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