Jury ends day 1 of deliberations in Lippe wife-slay trial

WHITE PLAINS — A sequestered jury did not reach a verdict today in the first day of deliberations in the trial of Werner Lippe, accused of murdering his wife and burning her remains at their Cortlandt home two years ago.

The seven men and five women on the jury debated the case for nearly six hours before Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli excused them at 5 p.m.

The jury asked the court to replay Lippe’s three confessions — two to a friend wearing a police wire and one to state police — and to reshow photos from a scientific experiment showing how quickly a corpse can burn in an oil drum. They also asked to see photos of the burn barrel on Lippe’s property.

Lippe, a 68-year-old jeweler, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Faith Lippe, his wife of 18 years who was a nutritionist in the Ossining schools. She was 49 when she disappeared on Oct. 3, 2008 in the midst of a bitter divorce battle.

There is no body, no eyewitnesses and no forensic evidence in the case. Werner Lippe claims his confession was false and was the result of paranoia, fear and confusion.

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.

Lippe faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. He has been in jail since his arrest nearly two years ago.

The jurors will resume deliberations at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.

Rebecca Baker

Rebecca Baker joined The Journal News in March 2004. She covers Eastchester, Bronxville and Tuckahoe, and was previously the state and county courts reporter in Westchester County. In prior jobs, she covered the Town of Greenburgh and Rockland County government and politics. Before coming to The Journal News, she was a municipal reporter for newspapers in New Haven, Conn. and Warren, Ohio.