Lippe jury selection to start April 12

werner lippeWell, that was fast.

Accused wife incinerator Werner Lippe goes on trial again before Westchester County Court Judge Barbara Zambelli in mid-April, less that two months after a deadlocked jury caused a mistrial in the prosecution’s first attempt at a conviction. Click here to read the story.

The first trial got a LOT of press, so jury selection may be tougher this time around. I’m planning to pop in to see what questions they’re asking to get jurors that could be favorable to their side. Opening statements will be interesting as well, seeing if either sides change their strategy.

Jury gets the Lippe case

After more than three weeks of testimony from dozens of witnesses and five (!) hours of closing arguments today, the seven women and five men on the Werner Lippe jury began deliberating if he was guilty of murdering his wife, Faith, and burning her in a backyard barrel behind their Cortlandt home.

Click here to read my stories from the trial.

The jury sent out a note at 6:45 p.m. — a little over an hour into their deliberations — asking the judge for clarification on involuntary statements and about Miranda rights. Defense lawyer Andrew Rubin, in his three-hour closing statement, insisted that Lippe gave an involuntary confession to state police investigators because Lippe asked to speak to his lawyer twice and they kept talking to him. Lippe was given his Miranda warning (“You have the right to remain silent ….”) and asked point-blank if he really wanted a lawyer, to which he replied, “No, no hold on a minute.”

Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli called it a night at 7:30 p.m. and sent the jurors to a local hotel for the night. She is known for sequestering juries in murder trials. They will resume deliberations around 9:30 a.m. tomorrow

Werner Lippe, jeweler to the stars

werner lippeSome celebrity gossip came out of the Werner Lippe wife-slay trial today … namely that Lippe, a world-renowned jewelry craftsman, made an engagement ring for Donald Trump, baubles for Yoko Ono and NY Giants football coach Tom Coughlin. Outside the courtroom, a spokeswoman for the DA’s office said Lippe also has made earrings for Oprah Winfrey. Oprah!

Lippe, 68, is on trial for allegedly murdering his wife, Faith Lippe, and burning her remains in a backyard burn barrel. Click here to read more about the trial.

We also found out more about the Lippe’s early years today. Faith Lippe was a FIT grad (that’s Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan for the uninitiated) and worked in the fashion industry as a seamstress before meeting Werner, whose two previous marriages lasted 2 years and 8 weeks, respectively. Their home mansion on Little Lake Road was built from scratch in the early 1990s, and they moved in just before their son, Andrew, was born in 1994.

We also found out about Werner Lippe’s vegetable garden, and his battle with various woodland creatures, including chipmunks, rabbits and deer. “I like them on my table, yes, but not eating my vegetables,” he said, offering a lighter moment in the trial.

We also heard about the $1.2 million, 7,000-square-foot log cabin that Lippe was building in Eden, Utah, where he planned to retire. It was supposed to be completed this year. He said Faith did not want to move there in 2008, but he built a sewing room for her in case she changed her mind.

While on the stand today, Lippe had a cold — he spent the entire day blowing his nose and taking throat lozenges. He finished testifying today and will return on Tuesday, when the case will go to the jury.