TEANECK, N.J. -- “This is a case that screams motive,” Senior Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Mello told jurors during opening arguments in Hackensack on Wednesday in the murder trial of Sui Kam “Tony” Tung for the death of popular software engineer Robert Cantor in his Teaneck home.
Tung shot his estranged wife’s lover and set his body and house on fire exactly a year to the day from the first time the lovers had sex, Mello said.
Defense attorney Robert Kalisch countered that Tung, 52, is “the only suspect who was ever investigated” for the crime, despite no evidence that places him in New Jersey -- let alone Teaneck -- the night of the March 6, 2011 slaying.
Mello, in turn, revealed for the first time that a shell casing from a handgun matching one that Tung had asked a friend to get for him was found at the Elm Avenue home after Teaneck firefighters extinguished the blaze and found Cantor’s body in the same basement bedroom where he'd slept with Tung’s estranged wife.
The body was so badly burned that 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.
Tung bought a handgun and showed it to Sophie Menuet after he learned of her affair with Cantor, the prosecutor said.
Kalisch countered that Mello didn't produce a weapon or any solid proof of the claim.
Mello said forensic experts will prove that Tung’s computer hard drive was erased in the early morning hours after the killing. He said Tung was eracing evidence that he'd put spyware on his wife's computer so he could read her email exchanges with Cantor.
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.
Mello was expected to present his first witness tomorrow.
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