MAN’S INTENT IN KILLING AT ISSUE AS TRIAL BEGINS — (The Palm Beach Post)

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The Palm Beach Post

August 24, 1994

Author: SUSANNAH A. NESMITH
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Robert Green shot and killed his wife. Even his attorney agrees with that.

But the issue at his trial, which began Tuesday, is whether the former supervisor for the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services intended to kill Catherine Green, his wife of 22 years, when he went to see her on Jan. 23.

Green’s attorney, former public defender Phil Yacucci, is not disagreeing with the prosecution on this: On Superbowl Sunday, Robert Green went to his wife’s house – the house in which he used to live with her – and tried to work things out. After several hours of talking, she finally told him he had to leave. When he didn’t go, she started to leave. He followed her out to the car and emptied his gun, hitting her five times, according to the attorneys. Nineteen days later, she died.

But prosecutors and Yacucci disagree about what Green thought about before he killed her – a point that could make the difference between a first-degree murder conviction and a less serious, second-degree conviction.

“The only person that Robert Green had ever thought about killing was Robert Green,” Yacucci said. “He had done nothing but express feelings of love for his wife.”

Yacucci argued that Green was under a great deal of stress because of the breakup of his 22-year-marriage. He had started drinking and was taking medication for depression, Yacucci told the jury.”That act of physically turning and walking away from Robert, it caused him to crack,” Yacucci told the jury.

Assistant State Attorney Sally Savage told much the same story, but she focused on the fact that Green went to the Hickory Hill home carrying the gun, putting it in his back pocket before he went in the house. Savage also emphasized to the jury that before he left his apartment to go to the house, he told his roommate that everything was going to be settled that day.

Copyright 1994 Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
Record Number:  PBP08240594