Rod Covlin: Killer tried to frame 9-year-old daughter for wife’s murder
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The failed stockbroker charged with murdering his estranged banker wife in 2009 tried to frame their young daughter for the crime three years later by forging a false written confession, prosecutors revealed Monday.
Rod Covlin, 45, wrote an Apple note purportedly penned by his daughter that synced to her email account on June 25, 2013, court papers allege.
“All of these years I have been so incredibly afraid and guilty about the night my mom died,” Covlin wrote, posing as Anna, then 12.
“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…”
In a court filing, prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos wrote that Covlin drafted the note because he was panicked the DA’s investigation into Shele Danishefsky’s murder was heating up again.
The note was addressed to Anna’s law guardian.
Anna was just 9 years old when she discovered her mother, face-down in the bathtub on New Year’s Eve. Her brother, Myles, had been asleep.
Prosecutors allege Covlin put his ex in a martial arts chokehold, broke her neck, then staged an accidental drowning, leaving his children to find her bloodied corpse.
Danishefsky and her cheating hubby were living in separate apartments on the same floor of a luxury Upper West Side building and were in the midst of a contentious custody battle and divorce.
The day before her murder, Danishefsky had made an appointment with her lawyer to remove Covlin from her will.
But it wasn’t until 2015, after his girlfriend had blabbed about what he’d done, that he was indicted for her murder.
Shortly after his wife’s death, his parents were granted custody of his kids, depriving him of control of their $5 million inheritance, Bogdanos wrote.
Painting a picture of a criminal demon, prosecutors said Covlin then hatched a plan to kill his parents by having his daughter serve them rat poison-laced sugar with their tea. But he didn’t follow through.
In another sinister scheme, he allegedly coached Anna to make up a rape allegation against her grandfather.
Covlin even sent her explicit instructions on how to break her own hymen with a cucumber — but the young girl backed out, prosecutors say.
Still desperate to get his wife’s money, he told his girlfriend that he might kidnap and marry off the girl, who was then 14, in Mexico in a bid to control her inheritance.
But unbeknownst to him, the gal pal recorded the Dec. 13, 2013, call.
In the filing, prosecutors wrote that Covlin was obsessed with female escorts, backgammon and drugs and tried to eliminate anyone who got in the way of his dissolute lifestyle, including his wife and parents.
The disturbing conduct is outlined in a motion that seeks to admit evidence of Covlin’s bad acts for which he isn’t criminally charged. Justice Ruth Pickholz ruled that the evidence cannot be presented to jurors unless Covlin takes the stand, which might open him up to some of the allegations.
Covlin’s lawyer Robert Gottlieb said of the new revelations: “It’s disgusting because it’s clear what happened here. These garbage allegations, which the DA has been desperate to get before a jury has been thrown out of the case by the judge in a very clear decision. The allegations are absurd, ridiculous and they will have no role to play in this case.”
Jury selection is slated to begin Jan. 14.