July 29, 2016
Fred Neulander, the Cherry Hill rabbi convicted of hiring hitmen to kill his wife, Carol, had his appeal for a new trial rejected this week.
A New Jersey appeals court panel found his various appeals arguments "without sufficient merit to warrant discussion," according to the decision issued Thursday.
Neulander has made previous attempts to appeal his 30-year-to-life sentence, all unsuccessfully.
A jury found that Neulander had paid Paul Daniels and Len Jenoff $30,000 to kill his wife, allowing him to continue with extra-marital affairs.
Both men pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter charges and agreed to testify against Neulander. The two admitted-killers have served their time and were release about two years ago.
Neulander did not testify at his murder trial, but his lawyers tried – unsuccessfully – to discredit Daniels and Jenoff. Neulander was convicted in 2002.
Carol Neulander was bludgeoned to death in the couple’s Cherry Hill home on Nov. 1, 1994. The killing was staged to appear as though it was a robbery gone wrong.
Neulander was the leader of Congregation M'kor Shalom in Cherry Hill at the time of the murder.
In his latest appeal, which was filed in June, Neulander unsuccessfully argued he’d not gotten effective counsel in his trial or in post-conviction appeals.
He’s also argued that Jenoff had given perjured testimony and a woman who testified about his behavior while mourning the death of his wife – known as shivah in the Jewish faith – was prejudicial.
Neulander admitted to the affairs, primarily with Elaine Soncini, then a local radio personality. But he denied having a role in \ killing his wife.
The state’s Public Defender’s Office, which represented Neulander, has made no statement about the appellate court's finding.
In a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer, a spokesman for Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo, said, "The opinion only reaffirms the jury's sound belief in a guilty verdict in this case."