On the day that Rodney Adkins burglarized the Washington Boulevard condominium of Oak Parker Catherine McAvinchey, besides drugs and alcohol, he purchased a “Lucky Seven” lottery ticket for $5. He won $500.
Adkins has to be hoping he continues to be lucky this week as his trial on burglary, home invasion and murder unfolds in Judge Michael Tucker’s Maybrook courtroom.
In a conservative gray suit and gold wire glasses Monday afternoon, Adkins looked more like a successful accountant than a career criminal with a drug addiction. He sat expressionless between two of his lawyers, watching as the prosecution and defense made their opening statements. Each took less than 10 minutes to outline their case to the jury.
State’s Attorney Maureen O’Brien briefly reviewed the key evidence that she said will be used to convict Adkins of all charges, including murder. Besides fingerprints and DNA evidence, O’Brien said there is a videotaped confession.
“You will watch Rodney Adkins make an oral confession to Oak Park police officers,” she told the jury. In that confession, O’Brien said, the short but stocky Adkins admitted to jumping on McAvinchey’s back with the intention of breaking her spine. Then, wanting to make sure she was dead, O’Brien said, Adkins got a large bread knife from her kitchen and stabbed McAvinchey in the side, front and back of her neck.
Adkins’ defense attorney didn’t bother contesting her client’s guilt in the burglary, admitting early and frequently that Adkins had in fact burglarized McAvinchey’s condominium, as well as another residence in the building.
Telling the jurors that they would see all sorts of physical evidence tying her client to the burglary, she stressed that they would also see nothing that would implicate him in McAvinchey’s murder.
“No evidence, nothing at all of Rodney Adkins being there,” she said, urging the jurors to listen “very, very closely” to Adkins statements on the videotaped confession.
“The physical evidence will show you he committed a burglary,” she said. “But this evidence does not show that he committed a murder.”
Both the prosecution and defense said they expect a verdict by Friday.