‘I am completely innocent’: man accused in New Scotland murder

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In opening arguments Tuesday afternoon, the prosecution described a carefully calculated plan to murder Philip Rabadi, while the accused killer said he is “completely innocent” of the charge.

Jacob Klein, 42, is charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing 35-year-old Rabadi at his home in April 2022. Prosecutors said Klein had a previous relationship with Rabadi’s wife Elana Radin.

Assistant District Attorney Jessica Blain-Lewis said in her opening statement that the testimony will show that Klein methodically planned out the crime. Radin and Klein split in 2017, but Blain-Lewis said he used the dog they owned together as a pretext to continue contacting her. Radin told police she received a concerning email from him September 2021 just before she married Rabadi.

Blain-Lewis said evidence will show Klein tracked down her location by purchasing a White Page subscription and also conducted internet searches about how to breach a house and choke somebody.

“This was a crime of preparation, of planning, that took time and effort,” she said.

Blain-Lewis said the evidence will show that Klein rented a white Dodge Ram and traveled to the Rabadi house on multiple days before the murder on April 13, 2022.

She said the vehicle circled the cul-de-sac and headed back to the main road and even followed Rabadi to his work at St. Peter’s Hospital as a physician assistant.

A man matching Klein’s build was spotted around Rabadi’s home on Miller Road. He appears to be wearing a mask and have a covering on his head.

Blain-Lewis said Rabadi was found face down in the garage with multiple stab wounds to the neck.

Klein who is representing himself, said prosecutors will not present any direct evidence of his guilt and have not pursued other potential leads.

“I am completely innocent of the charge. I did not murder Philip Rabadi,” he said.

“They developed tunnel vision on me as the sole perpetrator and suspect, and they ignored all the evidence that supports my innocence and evidence that would have led them to the actual killer,” Klein added.

Klein said the victim’s blood and DNA were not on any of his possessions nor in his truck or his Airbnb room. They did find a condom wrapper as a result of Tinder date.

Klein told the jury that he was in the area to look into potential real estate investments. He brought his dog with him and the dog caused damage to one of the cabinets of the Airbnb he was staying in. He purchased a screwdriver at Home Depot to repair the damaged cabinet door.

Klein attempted to present alternative suspects. He said there was also a cigarette butt from an unknown “John Doe” found behind Rabadi’s garage. He said there were two men driving a white truck that was parked in Rabadi’s driveway the day of the homicide.

Klein said he did not have any lingering feelings for Rudin.

“When we broke up, she cried, and I shrugged my shoulders and moved to California. We haven’t seen each other since 2017,” he said.  

The jury was sent home for the day after opening statements and will resume on Wednesday.

Blain-Lewis and ADA Cheryl Fowler are prosecuting the case. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Albany County Court Judge William Little is presiding over the case.