TEANECK, N.J. -- A New York man standing trial in the murder of popular software engineer Robert Cantor in his Teaneck home told a judge Monday he won't testify in his own defense.
Sui Kam “Tony” Tung told the judge this afternoon "There is no reason for me to testify." Tung also asked the judge not tell the jury they can't hold that against him.
Tung's decision followed the judge's denial of a motion for his acquittal. Veteran criminal attorney Robert N. Kalisch Jr. argued 1) Tung didn't wipe his computer in Teaneck; 2) An arson was committed after Cantor was killed, and couldn't be felony murder; and 3) a state witness testified "This was not a burglary," so Tung couldn't be charged with burglary.
Judge Edward A. Jerejian denied all Kalisch's arguments, saying the jury should be able to judge all the evidence together.
Kalisch rested his case without presenting a witness, while the prosecution rested earlier. Closing arguments are tomorrow morning.
Tung, of Manhattan, is accused of shooting his estranged wife’s lover and setting his body and house on fire exactly a year to the day from the first time the lovers had sex.
Kalisch has countered that Tung, 52, is “the only suspect who was ever investigated” for the crime, despite no evidence that places him in New Jersey or Teaneck the night of the March 6, 2011 slaying.
Teaneck firefighters who extinguished the blaze at Cantor’s Elm Avenue home found his body in the same basement bedroom where he'd slept with Tung’s estranged wife. It was so badly burned authorities had to identify the 59-year-old Cantor through dental records.
Mello said he'd been shot dead in the back of the head and the fire started to destroy all evidence, he told jurors when the trial opened nearly a month ago.
Cantor was killed three days after Sophie served Tung with divorce papers, Mello noted. Earlier that night, she and Cantor had gone to a museum with one of her and Tung's three daughters, he said.
According to Kalisch, Tung’s car never left Manhattan and prosecutors have provided no evidence of him going to Teaneck.
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