To the outside world, Doctor Yazeed Essa and his wife, Rosemarie, looked like they were living the American dream with 2 children and a beautiful home in Gates Mills.
It turns out Dr. Essa was also living a lie about his marriage.
On the first day of his trial for killing his wife using a deadly cyanide pill, his attorneys admitted that Dr. Essa was a major playboy with multiple lovers during his 7 year marriage.
The defense claimed that one long time lover, Marguerita Montanez, was jealously fixated on him.
Defense attorney Steven Bradley told the jury that "Marguerita resented that Rosemarie had everything that she wanted, a doctor for a husband, beautiful home in Gates Mills, financial freedom."
And Essa's lawyers went on to suggest to members of the jury that Montanez had access to Essa's home and was in the house when Essa called to tell her that the Highland Heights police wanted the calcium pill bottle 3 weeks after the murder.
"Marguerita was alone in the house and had advance warning that the police were on their way," said Bradley.
In the pill bottle, police found 9 cyanide pills and 36 calcium pills.
The two types of pills are not similar in appearance.
Assistant County Prosecutor Steve Dever said, "We are going to present to you a picture of a narcissistic, self absorbed, sociopath who calculated and implemented an evil plan to kill his wife."
Dever added, "Rosie's death provided Yazeed Essa the freedom from an unhappy marriage. It eliminated the need for a messy divorce that could have ruined his bank account."
However, defense attorney Steve Bradley told the jury, "There's no scientific evidence that is going to connect him to this crime, no DNA evidence, no fingerprint evidence, nothing."
While admitting that their client fled the country under the alias "Maurice Khalife" and sought refuge in Lebanon, they contend that he was counseled to leave by his brother and sister-in-law.