A high-profile murder case involving a New York dentist ended with an acquittal this week.
Kingston, NY, dentist Gilberto Nunez was found not guilty Tuesday in the November 2011 murder of his lover’s husband.
Linda Kolman found her husband, Thomas, dead in his parked car outside the Planet Fitness gym in Ulster in November 2011.
Nunez’s Nissan Pathfinder was allegedly seen at the plaza shortly before Thomas Kolman’s death.
In October of last year, Nunez, 49, was accused of fatally poisoning Thomas Kolman. Nunez was also charged with two counts of possession of a forged instrument in relation to apparently false claims Nunez made about being part of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Prosecutors suggested Nunez killed Kolman, 44, by giving him a cup of coffee laced with the medical sedative midazolam.
They alleged Nunez hoped to keep Linda Kolman for himself after their 11-month affair.
Jurors, however, were unconvinced. “We just didn’t feel there was enough evidence,” one juror told the Daily Freeman. “…There were too many holes in the chain to knowingly convict for that one charge.”
Nunez was, however, found guilty of the two charges of possession of a forged instrument.
At trial, the defense stressed that Nunez and Kolman were “best friends,” and reminded the jury of Kolman’s heart condition and sleep apnea — potential culprits in his death.
Furthermore, no eyewitnesses had come forward and there was no concrete DNA evidence linking Nunez to Kolman’s death.
Laura Labay, PhD, a forensic toxicologist at NMS Labs, explained Kolman’s toxicology tests showed caffeine in his blood, but she was unable to discern whether the caffeine was ingested, came from coffee, or came from another source.
Labay also testified the midazolam could have been consistent with a therapeutic dosage.
After hearing the verdict, Linda, Kolman’s widow, broke out in tears, yelling, “Sociopath!” “Psychotic!” and “Lying sack of sh-t!”
Nunez will remain free on his original $1 million bail while awaiting sentencing for his forgery convictions. He faces up to seven years in state prison.
Meanwhile, a separate trial is pending for lesser charges of grand larceny, insurance fraud, falsifying business records, perjury, and making false statements in cases unrelated to Kolman’s death.