The question of whether a Bay Shore man killed his estranged wife's lover depends almost entirely on how believable the woman's testimony was, a Suffolk prosecutor and a defense lawyer told jurors Wednesday.
They gave closing arguments after a week and a half of testimony in the trial of Quinton Rubin, 37, charged with second-degree murder in the death of Sean Berry, 36, of Bay Shore. Rubin is accused of coming to a trailer in front of his former home in Bay Shore and shooting Berry five times. Jurors in the courtroom of state Supreme Court Justice William Condon began deliberating Wednesday.
"The defendant's guilt is overwhelming," Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock told jurors, noting that the most compelling part of the case came from Rubin's ex-wife, Melisa Oyola. "She sees everything that happened."
She testified that she spent the night of Nov. 12, 2012, in the trailer in front of her home with Berry, while her son, Quinton Jr., 10 at the time, slept in the house. At about 4:30 a.m. the next morning, she said a man wearing a mask knocked on the trailer door. She recognized the man as her husband from his eyes, his build and his voice, she testified.
She said Rubin shot Berry once as soon as the door opened, hit her in the mouth with the gun, angrily yelled a vulgarity at Berry as he accused him of having sex with his wife and then shot him several more times.
Defense attorney Eric Besso of Sayville, in his 8 1/2-minute closing argument, told jurors it was possible that Oyola was mistaken or even lying. The man wore a mask, it was dark and the loud gunshots would have made it difficult to hear the man's voice, Besso said.
He also noted that Oyola had acted violently herself in the past, once stabbing Rubin in the back and doing nothing to help him other than tossing him a towel.
"A person who could do that could do this," Besso said referring to Berry's killing.
Kurtzrock said, "Of course, Mr. Besso has to attack her credibility," but he added that she knew who the man was.
"This is her husband," Kurtzrock said. "This is the man she's known for 15 years."
Kurtzrock said other evidence supports her story. She said Quinton Jr. called his father at 3:45 a.m. to tell him his mother was in the trailer with Berry, and cellphone records then show his phone moving from his home toward Oyola's, and then back to his home by 5 a.m.
"Are we supposed to believe that somebody else had his phone, did this murder and returned his phone to him?" Kurtzrock said.