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Pro Backgammon Aficionado From Westchester Sentenced For Murdering Estranged Wife In Bathtub

Roderick Covlin
Roderick Covlin Photo Credit: Facebook

An area man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted of murdering his wife on New Year’s Eve nearly a decade ago.

New Rochelle resident Roderick Covlin, 45, has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for murdering his wife, Shele Danishefsky Covlin, 47, at her Upper West Side Apartment in her bathroom on New Year’s Eve in 2009.

Covlin was found guilty of second-degree murder by a New York State Supreme Court jury on March 13. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. announced the sentencing on Wednesday, April 10.

A 1991 New Rochelle High School graduate, Covlin and his wife had been in the process of contentious divorce and custody battles at the time of her murder, which was initially believed to be an accident, and an autopsy was delayed by her religious family. Ultimately, her body was exhumed by investigators and it was determined that Danishefsky had been strangled.

The couple had two children at the time of the murder, a 9-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy. Both gave statements in court defending their father, according to the New York Daily News. Their daughter was the one who found her strangled to death in the bathtub on New Year's Eve.

According to reports, Covlin, a professional backgammon aficionado, was in danger of losing access to Danishefsky’s $5 million if their divorce was finalized. He was found guilty by the jury after less than two days in Manhattan Supreme Court.

“The Danishefsky family never gave up, and neither did we,” Vance said in a statement. “Roderick Covlin will now spend decades in prison for his domestic violence, depravity and deception, but family and intimate partner violence continues on in apartments across New York City.

“The crisis of domestic violence does not discriminate, and we want any New Yorker in an abusive relationship to know that you are not alone, and help is available: call our Domestic Violence hotline at (212) 335-4308, or stop by our Manhattan Family Justice Center.”

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