In this article, you will get all the information regarding Closing Arguments Set in Alleged ‘Pillowcase Rapist’ Trial in Miami-Dade – NBC 6 South Florida
Closing arguments are set for Wednesday morning in the case of a suspected serial rapist who police say terrorized South Florida for years in the early 1980s.
Robert Koehler is charged with just one of the rapes, from 1983 in Miami-Dade County, but his own attorneys elicited testimony Tuesday revealing to jurors that he was also suspected of being the “Pillowcase Rapist,” so named for using bed linen to cover the faces of his victims.
Judge Daryl Trawick had repeatedly warned the defense that its queries about other rapes could open the door to the state bringing in further evidence tying Koehler to the other crimes.
And that’s exacty what the state requested to do in its rebuttal case after the defense rested Wednesday.
“Counsel, this is why I kept asking are you sure you want to go down this road?” Trawick told assistant public defender Damaris Del Valle.
“Judge, I stand by I have not opened the door. I have walked very carefully upon what you described as thin ice and it has not cracked and it has not broken,” Del Valle replied.
The judge disagreed, ruling for the state – which wanted to show jurors how Koehler’s DNA was also found at a 1985 rape scene Del Valle had questioned a retired detective sergeant about.
When the defense said it would then need a long recess – perhaps days – to question witnesses and investigate evidence in the 1985 case, Trawick lamented that he had told jurors the case would end by Wednesday at the latest and he did not want an undue delay.
A man accused of being the “pillowcase rapist” gives a bizarre testimony during his trial. NBC 6’s Tony Pipitone reports
He then looked to prosecutor Laura Adams and asked whether the state really wanted to have his ruling on the rebuttal testimony hanging over an appeal, should Koehler be convicted.
Saying she saw where the judge was headed, Adams then proposed a compromise where the state would not enter the DNA evidence from 1985, as long as the defense did not refer to that case in its closing arguments.
Both sides agreed, the defense saying it was not contesting Koehler’s DNA was connected to the rapes – only how it got there.
Koehler testified he was drugged, kidnapped, tortured and made to witness murders by crooked cops, who extracted semen from him and then planted it at rape scenes so they could justify asking for bigger police budgets.
Trawick called that an “interesting scenario.”
NBC 6 investigator Tony Pipitone has more on the latest in a case against Robert Koehler that rocked South Florida in the 1980s.
It’s one jurors will have to weigh after the case is submitted for deliberations, likely on Wednesday morning.
Koehler is charged with only one rape in Miami-Dade among dozens police and prosecutors say he committed in the early 1980s. He avoided capture until 2020, after his son’s DNA was entered into a criminal database after a domestic violence arrest.
It was so similar to DNA evidence from the rape scenes, investigators looked at the father and connected him to several scenes through his DNA.
Closing Arguments Set in Alleged ‘Pillowcase Rapist’ Trial in Miami-Dade – NBC 6 South Florida
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