Grisly photos of corpse during ex-cop's murder trial
Jurors were presented with gruesome crime scene photos Tuesday and text message transcripts relating to charges that former New York City Police Officer Eddy Coello killed his wife and dumped her body in Yorktown Heights.
The photos showed the body of 40-year-old Tina Adovasio, Coello's estranged wife, in a wooded area near the Taconic State Parkway. A pair of teenagers found Adovasio's body March 16, 2011, five days after she was reported missing.
One of the cops who responded and set up the crime scene that day was Adovasio's cousin, Yorktown Heights Police Officer Mark Rapisarda. On Monday, Rapisarda told jurors he recognized Adovasio's face and confirmed the body belonged to his cousin by a tattoo on her ankle, News12 reported.
Coello, 41, had a history of domestic abuse accusations and was fired from the NYPD in 2000 after a domestic abuse claim involving another woman. He was quickly identified as a "person of interest" in the days following the discovery of Adovasio's body. Detectives arrested him on March 22, hours after Adovasio's funeral.
On Monday, jurors heard emotional testimony from Joseph Adovasio, the victim's 18-year-old son. Joseph Adovasio told the jury he tried to track his mother down and called her job when he realized she was missing.
Pixilated surveillance camera footage from Tina Adovasio's apartment building -- and time-stamped from the night she disappeared -- showed Coello leaving the building while hoisting a heavy duffel bag. Joseph Adovasio was sitting on the witness stand as prosecutors played the footage, News12 reported, and said he believed his mother's body was in the bag Coello was carrying.
Coello's attorney, Renee Hill, acknowledged the younger Adovasio's testimony was compelling, but she told News12 she's confident jurors will withhold judgment until hearing all the evidence.
"This was an emotional witness on the stand. This is the son of the deceased, so I'm sure it was very, very difficult for everyone to listen to his testimony," Hill said.
Hill also said a series of text messages between Coello and Tina Adovasio proved that "there were other things going on in this relationship" that would show jurors a different side of the story. She declined to elaborate.
Tina Adovasio left behind three other children in addition to her oldest son, Joseph. Her parents and other relatives joined her children in the courtroom to hear testimony on Monday and Tuesday.
The trial will continue Wednesday, when jurors are expected to hear testimony from a DNA expert.