WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The trial of a schoolteacher accused in the so-called 'fatal attraction' killing of her former lover's wife began Monday with the defense claiming that the woman was framed.
The lawyer for Carolyn Warmus claimed in Westchester County Court that his client had no role in the slaying of Betty Jeanne Solomon, who was shot to death in her Greenburgh home on Jan. 15, 1989.
Solomon's husband, Paul Solomon, had an affair with Warmus, who police contend maintained an obsessive attachment to him after the relationship was broken off. Prosecutors say that obsession continued even after the victim's death, when Paul Solomon began dating another woman.
Warmus, 27, who reportedly will not testify during the trial, used her blond, longish bob to partially block her face from the view of spectators Monday. She has pleaded not guilty to charges of second- degree murder and weapons possession.
'This is a trial about murder, not passion,' said her defense lawyer, David Lewis.
'She had been framed,' Lewis said. 'Paul Solomon ... was part of the plot.'
Prosecutor James McCarty, however, said Warmus had developed a 'consuming desire to possess Paul Solomon to herself.'
His wife 'got squarely in the way,' McCarty told the jurors.
The defendant, who worked at the same school as Paul Solomon, has reportedly had a history of obsessive attachments but has repeatedly denied any role in the shooting death.
The prosecution's prime witness, a private investigator, is to testify that he sold Warmus a .25 caliber Beretta handgun, along with a silencer and some ammunition, days before the murder. The witness, Vincent Parco, was granted immunity for his actions in exchange for his testimony.
Among other evidence, MCI residential telephone records show a call made to a New Jersey gun shot from Warmus's apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan hours before the shooting.
Warmus has been free on $250,000 bail that was secured by her millionaire father.
The trial has been called the 'Fatal Attraction' murder case because of similarities to popular 1987 movie in which a wandering husband gets the wrath of a mistress he no longer wants.