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Backgammon loving wife killer, Rod Covlin, weeps in court as he’s sentenced to 25 years for strangling to death his wealthy financier wife

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‘Roderick Covlin will now spend decades in prison for his domestic violence, depravity and deception’ – Manhattan DA, Cy Vance 
Backgammon pro Roderick ‘Rod’ Covlin cried in court as he is sentenced to 25 years Wednesday for financially motivated homicide
Colvin 46 was convicted for strangling to death his wealthy financier wife, Shele Danishefsky Covlin on New year’s Eve in 2009
10 years ago Colvin, then 36, and his wealthy older wife Shele Danishefsky, 47, were estranged and going through a contentious divorce 
Shele a UBS finance executive was found strangled in the blood-filled bathtub of her Upper West Side apt by the couple’s daughter
Colvin prosecutors said, feared she would cut him out of her $5.3million will
Roderick ‘Rod’ Covlin, 46, was convicted in March of murdering his estranged wife, Shele Danishefsky Covlin, in 2009 
Crocodile tears: Convicted wife killer Roderick Covlin, 46, cries at his sentencing hearing on Wednesday. He bagged a life sentence, to serve a 25-year minimum

Professional backgammon player Roderick ‘Rod’ Covlin was sentenced this morning to 25 years to life in prison for murdering his estranged finance executive wife a decade ago.
Dressed in a white button-down shirt, the 46-year-old defendant broke down in tears and while photographed wiping his eyes with a tissue while listening to his mother, Carol, speak before learning his fate in State Supreme Court.
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A jury in March found Covlin guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Shele Danishefsky Covlin, 47, who was found strangled in the blood-filled bathtub of her Upper West Side apartment on New Year’s Eve in 2009.
Defense lawyer Robert Gottlieb says Covlin plans to appeal the verdict.

Rod Covlin flanked by his defense attorneys in court Wednesday, learns he will spend a minimumf 25 years in prison for his wife’s murder Wednesday
Last month a scowling Covlin was found guilty [left] of strangling to death his estranged wife, Shele Danishefsky Covlin, seen with him [right], in 2009   During his sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Covlin grows emotional hearing his mother adressthe court

Rod and Shele were locked in a bitter divorce and custody battle over their children, and prosecutors argued that the husband was afraid that his UBS executive wife would cut him out of her $5.3million will.

Roderick Covlin stood to lose access to estranged wife Shele Covlin’s $5 million estate if their divorce was finalized. On New Year’s Day, Danishefsky Covlin had been scheduled to meet with an attorney to change her will. Instead she was dead by daybreak on New Year’s day.
Police initially thought Danishefsky Covlin’s death an accident. For religious reasons her Orthodox Jewish family objected to an autopsy. But as suspicions mounted her body was exhumed and the medical examiner determined she’d been strangled.
Covlin, who helped found the US Backgammon Federation, was charged in Danishefsky Covlin’s death in 2015, two months before he was to receive a settlement in a lawsuit over a $1.6million life insurance policy on his late wife. He denied killing her, claiming that he performed CPR on her and called 911 for help.
He was found guilty of murder on March 13 after less than two days of deliberations in Manhattan Supreme Court.
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Shele Danishefsky 1Victim: Shele Danishefsky [photo], was in the midst of divorcing her much younger husband Rod Covlin when she was found dead on New Year’s Eve in 2009

Covlin’s lawyer Robert Gottlieb argued at trial that Shele’s death was an accident, but Justice Ruth Pickholz said the evidence against Covlin was “overwhelming” and handed down the maximum sentence of 25 years to life behind bars, in front of a packed courtroom.
At Covlin’s sentencing Wednesday, the victim’s family were given a chance to exorcise their pain, deliveing impact statements describing their anguish and their rage.


For Shele’s brother Fred Danishefsky ‘The existence of Rod Covlin is the strongest argument there is for the death penalty,’  Fred said.
‘He is an evil predator in the strongest sense of those two words.’
“The defendant is a heartless monster. He has torn our family apart and tried to destroy us in so many ways,” Shele’s sister-in-law and close friend Peggy Danisfsky said.
In a surprising twist, Shele and Rod’s children, Myles, who was two years old at the time of his mother’s death, and Anna, who was nine, also addressed the court, seeking leniency for their father.
With Anna, who found her mother’s lifeless body in the tub, describing her father as “one of the most caring and loving people I know,” said Anna, now 18, in a statement read by her paternal grandmother.
Her brother, now aged 12, begged the judge for leniency and professed his love for his father: “I do not believe that my dad murdered my mother … ,” added Myles.


 Justice for Shele” Phil Danishefsky [left] and his brother Fred [right] were on hand for Covlin’s sentencing in the murder of their sister

The defendant’s mother Carol Covlin, [photo], who attended the emotional hearing Wednesday morning, delivered an address seeking leniency for her son who was handed a life time sentence for the greed propelled, brutal murder of his wife

The prosecution, however, painted a drastically different picture of Rod Covlin.
Prosecutors say Covlin, an abusive, philandering spouse who was obsessed with Shele’s financial and personal affairs and was tracking her email activity, slipped into the apartment overnight.

‘He [Covlin], he has shown no remorse for his actions and made no amends.
‘The Danishefsky family never gave up, and neither did we,’ Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a written statement released Wednesday. ‘Roderick Covlin will now spend decades in prison for his domestic violence, depravity and deception, but family and intimate partner violence continues on in apartments across New York City.’

At sentencing Wednesday Covlin maintained his innocence and said he would appeal the verdict and sentence

Given a chance to speak, Covlin maintained his innocence and said he would appeal. “Fortunately, my daughter, who slept in Shele’s bed that night, knows the truth. She’s the one person who could. My children are amazing people. They’re strong, courageous and wise, and they know that I love them.”

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