Jury must decide if Klein was a jealous ex who covered tracks; Suspect cites lack of DNA
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The fate of the man accused of killing Philip Rabadi is now in the hands of the jury.
Jacob Klein, 42, is charged with second-degree for allegedly stabbing Rabadi to death on April 13, 2022. The jury received the case at about 3:15 p.m. and wrapped up for the day around 5 p.m.
During closing arguments, the prosecution said Klein was jealous of his ex-girlfriend’s new husband and methodically planned to carry out the murder, while Klein pointed to lack of physical evidence during closing arguments.
During her two-hour closing argument, Assistant District Attorney Jessica Blain-Lewis outlined the messages exchanged between Klein and his ex-girlfriend Elana Radin. The couple broke up in 2017 and he was still communicating with her in 2019.
“I’m sure you found somebody who treats you way better than I ever did. If I could tell your boyfriend anything, I’d tell them not to screw it up like I did,” he said in one of the exchanges.
Radin married Philip Rabadi in September 2021. Five days after the wedding, Klein is ordering information on White Pages about Radin and Rabadi’s address.
Klein then took a trip to Albany. Blain-Lewis said Klein drafted a shopping list that included items such gloves, knife and prepaid cell phone before he took a trip to the Albany area in September 2021 – 7 months before he allegedly murdered Rabadi.
On Sept. 23, 2021, he sends her an email congratulating her, which Blain-Lewis said made Radin nervous. In the email, he says he cannot pretend that he isn’t jealous of the new husband.
Blain-Lewis said Klein sends that email on the same day he was in the Albany area. She asked the jury if Klein would travel all this way to send an email — or was he checking out their house.
A man matching Klein’s build and clothing enters Rabadi’s house with him and can be heard saying “don’t f*** with me.”
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As a physician assistant, Blain-Lewis said Klein also would know to stab someone in the neck to hit the carotid artery to cause the most damage.
Blain-Lewis said the lack of physical evidence can be attributed to Klein being covered head to toe including a hat and face mask.
Blain-Lewis said Klein would know about not leaving behind evidence at the scene.
Blain-Lewis pointed to surveillance video from a neighboring residence allegedly showing Klein using bottle and paper towels to clean his rented truck.
“Why would someone be cleaning their rented vehicle?” she said.
He can also be seen on video putting two bags of garbage in the back of the truck – even though there were garbage cans near his Airbnb at 27 Parkwood that were not full.
Video footage allegedly shows him leaving with the bags and the truck shows up on a subsequent camera without the trash, which Blain-Lewis said means he must have discarded it along the way.
“Do you want to know why there’s no DNA found? Because he was cleaning up after himself,” she said. “He thought he thought of everything, but he didn’t think about neighbors with Ring cameras.”
When Klein is arrested, he tells police in body camera video: “I know what you guys are here for. I was planning on turning myself in.”
Blain-Lewis said the jury has all the evidence to render a verdict beyond a reasonable doubt.
“That man right there is guilty of murder in the second degree,” she said.
Klein makes case
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Earlier in the morning, Klein, who is representing himself, urged a jury to find him not guilty. He cited the lack of forensic evidence at the crime scene and uncertainty about the time of the murder as casting reasonable doubt.
Not a scrap of DNA was found at the scene, said Klein.
That forensic examiner Dr. Bernard Ng was not able to provide a definitive time of death, Klein said, and it was impossible that he could have committed the crime in a 23-minute window.
Klein said that investigators zeroed in on him after Radin mentioned him.
“They never considered any other suspect. They ignored any other possibility. They ignored any piece of evidence that didn’t fit their evidence of the cause,” he said.
Klein also did not present an alibi. He also did not present any evidence related to the potential real estate investment he said during opening arguments he was in New Scotland to view.
The jury will continue deliberations at 9:00 a.m. Thursday.
NewsChannel 13’s Stella Porter is covering the case. Check back at wnyt.com and on the later newscasts for updates on this story.