Ten days after fainting while giving a closing argument in a murder trial, a defense attorney finished his five-hour summation Monday by saying that Suffolk police and prosecutors not only arrested the wrong person for the killing of a North Amityville woman, but also got the day of the crime wrong.
After apologizing to jurors for causing the delay, William Keahon told them that there was plenty of doubt surrounding the second-degree murder charge against his client, David Newbeck, 36, of Massapequa. He is accused of shooting Mandy Jo Jenkins, 30, to death on Aug. 23, 2010.
Keahon said that if jurors studied phone records in evidence, they could conclude that Newbeck's co-defendant and Jenkins' boyfriend, Joseph DeFelice, shot her with the help of two different men. But Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla, who began his closing argument Monday, ridiculed that theory.
Biancavilla said both Newbeck and DeFelice, who was convicted of second-degree murder last fall, wanted Jenkins dead because she had become a liability to them, in part because she had filed identity theft charges against Newbeck's girlfriend. For that reason, he said DeFelice let Newbeck into the apartment he shared with Jenkins so Newbeck could kill her, wrap her in a tarp and dump the body in Lindenhurst.
Keahon said that story is not much different from "the lies and fabrications" that DeFelice told police hours after crime.
Instead, he said DeFelice, who witnesses said often beat Jenkins, likely hatched a plan to kill her the day before, Aug. 22, 2010, with Anthony Cassino, a drug dealer, when they were in Atlantic City with Newbeck. They did it that evening with Anthony Pilo, another friend who rented a music studio next to the warehouse, Keahon said.
Keahon dismissed the testimony of a "parade of characters" against Newbeck, dismissing them as liars who beat up women and will now say anything to save themselves jail time. Biancavilla said he didn't choose them as witnesses.
"They're not my characters. They're his characters," he said, pointing at Newbeck.
He played a tape of a call Newbeck made to his mother after he was arrested trying to board a plane to Ecuador. In the call, Ivy Newbeck told her son she heard the tarp containing Jenkins' body came from her husband's business, Newbeck Machinery. "That's funny," Newbeck replied on the tape. "No, it was a brand new tarp. It was brown and green. It had nothing to do with work."
Biancavilla urged jurors to think about that call.
"That's a mother and her son talking about evidence that could connect her son to a murder," he said. "David Newbeck is my star witness. He is my star. You could not ask for anything better than this."
The fact Newbeck brought a tarp to the killing shows the level of planning involved, Biancavilla said. Newbeck faces 25 years to life if convicted.
Deliberations are expected to begin Tuesday.