NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Roderick Covlin, 42, of New Rochelle, NY was charged in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan this morning with two counts of murder in the second-degree murder of Shele Covlin, his then-wife. Roderick Covlin reported to police that his then 9-year-old daughter found his wife strangled in their apartment at 155 West 68th Street on New Year’s Day 2010.
The police initially ruled the death an accidental "slip and fall". The body was buried on January 3rd, 2012 at the Mount Eden Cemetery in Hawthorne, N.Y. The Manhattan Medical Examiner listed the manner and cause of death as “undetermined.” The New York City Medical Examiner ruled the death of Shele Covlin (nee Shele Danishefsky) a homicide in April 2010. Her parents, who are Orthodox Jewish, refused to an autopsy but later relented. Danishefsky was 47 years old when she was killed.
Covlin was arrested at the New Rochelle Metro-North train station after arriving in the City on his way to visit his children who have been living with his parents. Anna, his daughter, Myles his son, have been living at the home of Jon Colvin, Roderick’s father, on Carriage Court Road in the North End of New Rochelle. Jon David Covlin is an investment professional employed by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.
Newspaper accounts have reported that Covlin was from Scarsdale. Carriage Court Road is in New Rochelle but has a Scarsdale zip code.
Colvin had been given full custody of the kids in a secret 2010 order. He then moved with his children to the father’s house on Carriage Court Road and place the children in public schools in New Rochelle.
New Rochelle police were called to the residence numerous times between 2009 and 2012 including two “dispute” complaints, and a report of a suspicious vehicle near the home.
Danishefsky was a financial adviser, part of the Danishefsky Wealth Management Group managing over $600 million of client funds. She had an estate worth millions of dollars at the time of her death.
She was separated from her husband at the time of her death. Covlin was living across the hall in another apartment provided by his wife. She was scheduled to meet with her lawyer to remove Colvin from her will just hours before she was killed. She had already obtained a “get”, a Jewish religion divorce, from Covlin. Covlin, a former stock-trader, was unemployed at the time and is reported to have spent a good deal of time gambling in backgammon tournaments.
Robert Gottlieb, a criminal defense lawyer representing Roderick Covlin, issued a statement.
“He is stunned by what has happened,” said Gottlieb. “We don’t believe there is any credible evidence to these charges. He’s very concerned about the children.”
The arrest comes weeks before Colvin would have been able to claim his wife’s estate under a trust agreement made with Danishefsky’s estate, her family, and her life insurance company. To make his claim, Covlin would need “a written confirmation by the District Attorney of New York County that Roderick is not the subject of any criminal investigation concerning the death of Shele, or six years has passed since Shele’s death…Upon either condition being met, Rod shall be entitled to asset his rights under the trust agreement, and upon Roderick’s request, the trust shall pay to Roderick all undistributed accrued income”. The sixth anniversary of Danishefsky’s death is Dec. 31.