Twelve jurors listened today to more than four hours of closing arguments in the murder trial of Werner Lippe, accused of killing his wife of 18 years during a bitter divorce fight in October 2008 and disposing of her body without a trace.
Lippe, a 68-year-old jeweler, remained stoic as Assistant District Attorney Christine O’Connor urged the seven men and five women on the jury to believe that Lippe’s confession to a friend, who was wearing a police wire, had been both truthful and voluntary.
Defense lawyer Andrew Rubin argued during his closing statements that it was a false confession borne out of paranoia, fear and confusion. There is no body, no eyewitnesses and no forensic evidence in the case.
O’Connor ended her summations by playing a recording of Werner Lippe telling his friend, “She doesn’t exist. You cannot find her. It’s impossible.” As the tape played, those words appeared on a screen with a photo a smiling Faith Lippe. Her cousin, Shari Caradonna, walked out of the courtroom in tears.
Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli will instruct the jury on the law Monday morning, and deliberations will begin immediately afterwards.
Lippe faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.
This is his second trial. His first trial ended in February with a hung jury, which was unable to reach a verdict after 27 hours of deliberations. The vote was 7 to 5 for acquittal.