“Our understanding of the evidence was this guy is a big, fat liar. It was pretty obvious he was mad as a hatter and a pathological liar. We didn’t believe anything he said.” (Jury forewoman Carrie Cogan)
A physician who actually tried to convince police that his new wife choked to death on a pastry on the day he strangled her, has been granted parole by the California state prison system.
Doctor Harvey Barry Jacobs, age 57 at the time, was convicted of murdering his 52-year-old wife, Nadine Loucks, in the early morning hours of April 25, 1999 in their Windcrest Lane home in San Diego. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison the following March 25.
A state parole board granted him release papers this week which have been forwarded to Governor Jerry Brown in Sacramento for approval.
Jacobs had called 911 that morning, the day his wife of two weeks, Nadine, died. He mentioned several times that “Paramedics would not be necessary.” He told police she had obviously choked on a breakfast pastry. The doctor was arrested a week later after the San Diego County Coroner’s Office determined that she had been strangled. They said the pastry had been forced into her mouth and nose to make it appear that she had choked accidentally on food.
Autopsy details in court revealed broken cartilage in her throat and injuries to both sides of her neck, her arms and back.
During his trial, the former surgeon maintained that his wife choked to death on a lemon pastry during an “eating frenzy.”
The San Diego Union Tribune has reported that Jacobs later changed his story, saying he became enraged after his wife said cruel things about him.
The jury, who deliberated for seven days before reaching their verdict, said they did not believe the defense offered by Jacobs’ lawyers, William La Fond and Domenic Lombardo.
They had argued that Nadine Jacobs suffered from bulimia – a binge-and-purge eating disorder – and was drunk the night she died. They said she got out of bed while her husband slept, went to the kitchen and quickly ate a lemon pastry, which became lodged in her windpipe.
Jacobs, who did not testify, told police he found his wife of two weeks dead on the floor but tried to revive her. His lawyers argued that Nadine Jacobs’ neck and head were injured during his resuscitation
But prosecutor Phyllis Shess told the jury Nadine Jacobs’ injuries were consistent with only one scenario: a blow on the head, rendering her either unconscious or stunned. She then was strangled and had pastry
stuffed into her mouth to make it look like an accident, Shess said.
During the trial, many of Nadine Jacobs’ friends testified that the couple often argued, and that Barry Jacobs was jealous and controlling. One witness said he overheard Jacobs call his wife a “whore.”
“This man is a control freak,” Shess said during closing arguments.
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