Testimony: Accused killer told friend he was in ‘big trouble’ with the law

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A friend of accused killer Jacob Klein testified on Tuesday that he received a call from him the day after the crime saying he was in big trouble with the law.

Klein is accused of killing local physician assistant Philip Rabadi in Rabadi’s New Scotland home on April 13, 2022. Klein was in a relationship with Rabadi’s wife, Elana Radin, years ago, according to investigators.

The friend, who lives in Arlington, Texas, and knew Klein from playing video games together, said Klein told him he was going to turn himself into police. The friend asked if police were looking for him and Klein responded, “probably.”  

The friend testified that he met up with Klein, who gave him the dog, dog food and $8,000. He still has the dog to this day. 

Klein has maintained his innocence during trial and strongly questioned his friend about what he remembered—asking on cross examination whether the phrase ‘in big trouble with the law’ is a saying commonly used in Texas. Prosecutors objected to that question, and Judge William Little sustained the objection.

The jurors were shown several video compilations Tuesday of Klein’s movements when he arrived in Albany at his Airbnb from his home in Virginia. The videos presumably show Klein getting in his personal car, heading to New Scotland, and circling Rabadi’s home twice when he arrived on April 10, three days before Rabadi was killed.

A witness from the New York State Police put together a timeline of surveillance videos that allegedly trace Klein from his Airbnb to Rabadi’s home and to Rabadi’s work at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. It matches some of the video with license plate reads of Klein’s vehicle. 

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Klein is allegedly pictured walking his dog and coming in and out of the Airbnb. Video also allegedly shows him renting a white pickup truck at Enterprise on Central Avenue in Albany on April 11. He appears more clearly in video from the St. Peter’s parking garage, appearing to look around the garage the day before and the day of the murder.

The video timeline from April 13, 2022, the day Rabadi was killed, allegedly shows Klein leaving his Airbnb before 6:00 a.m. and making a purchase at the Stewart’s in New Scotland just minutes from the scene. Klein allegedly appears again in the St. Peter’s parking garage in Albany, walking around at about 7:00 a.m.

Radin is shown in the same parking garage at that same time, entering the building to begin her workday as a physician assistant at the hospital.

Then, prosecutors played video from Rabadi and Radin’s next door neighbor’s home, showing a white pickup truck, similar to the one Klein rented, showing up at the New Scotland home just after 7:30 a.m. A figure approaches the home and is let inside by Rabadi after a brief exchange where the two say, “Hi.” Video is too grainy to make out the faces of the people pictured.

NYSP Video Analyst Jason Cooper compared the similarities between Klein allegedly walking his dog outside his Airbnb and the figure being let inside Rabadi’s home the morning of the murder, showing the jury similarities in light and dark parts of the image, such as a baseball cap and a pattern on the person’s pants.

Prosecutors’ video compilation from the morning of the murder traces Klein back to his Airbnb at 8:23 a.m. after leaving the crime scene at 8:00 a.m., then allegedly shows him returning his rental car in Albany, returning to the Airbnb and leaving the area in his personal car. Video next apparently shows him purchasing food at Burger King in Cobleskill and, in the clearest video, appears to show him purchasing water and food and filling up his personal car at Speedway in Cobleskill just before 11:30 a.m.

Klein grew up in Cobleskill and attended Albany Academy.

Klein, who is representing himself, moved for a mistrial twice, arguing Cooper used arrows and spotlights to show jurors why the videos were meaningful—an interference to which he strongly objected. Judge Little denied both motions.

Prosecutors also interviewed an investigator who showed horrific photos of the crime scene, including Rabadi’s lifeless body bound with tape and blood spatter on the garage floor. Photographs of the crime scene show the sinks in the home were plugged and made to fill with water which spilled onto the floors.

Testimony resumed Tuesday after being off Monday for the Yom Kippur Jewish holiday.

Prosecutors Jessica Blain-Lewis and Cheryl Fowler are slowly building a case they said will show that Klein was following his ex-girlfriend from years ago and her new husband, visiting their home and St. Peter’s where they worked, in the days before the murder. Prosecutors say this was a jealous killing to hurt the woman Klein lost.

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