A judge on Friday again delayed the arraignment for Robert Feldman, the Denver man accused of killing his wife hours after she learned he’d had an affair.
The latest delay – the fifth – came as Feldman attempts to appeal a probate court ruling that froze his family’s assets, which led his attorney to withdraw from the case and forced him to obtain a public defender.
Feldman faces a first-degree murder charge in the 2015 death of his wife, Stacy Feldman.
Feldman’s court-appointed lawyer, Sarah Varty, initially asked for a four-month delay. She told Denver District Judge William Robbins that if the Colorado Supreme Court overturns the ruling that froze the family’s assets Feldman would no longer qualify for a public defender and would have to hire a private attorney.
Deputy District Attorney Christine Washburn opposed Varty’s request. In the end, Robbins pushed back the arraignment to March 1.
Feldman's private attorney, David Kaplan, withdrew from the case on Monday after the family's assets were frozen.
Watch our 9Wants to Know investigative reports:
Robert Feldman reported to police on March 1, 2015, that he’d found his wife unresponsive in a bathtub, according to court documents obtained by 9Wants to Know.
She was pronounced dead a short time later.
The cause of Stacy Feldman’s death was originally classified as “undetermined.” However, an outside expert brought in by investigators and prosecutors concluded she’d been strangled or suffocated. That doctor found injuries to her upper extremities “consistent with knee pressure being applied from a straddled assailant.”
That conclusion was central to Robert Feldman’s arrest earlier this year, according to court documents obtained by 9Wants to Know.
Stacy Feldman, a mother of two, had been president of the parent-teacher organization at Southmoor Elementary School in Denver and worked for PSC Partners Seeking a Cure, a non-profit organization that funds family support, treatments and the search for a cure for a liver condition called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.
Just hours before her husband reported finding her in the tub, she had been told her husband had an affair after meeting a woman on the dating app, Tinder, according to court documents.
An affidavit obtained by 9Wants to Know lays out the nearly three-year investigation of Stacy Feldman’s death, detailing a number of contradictions and unexplained questions.
According to Denver police Det. Randal Denison, who wrote the affidavit, Feldman allegedly interfered with paramedics and appeared to a Denver police detective “to be acting as if (in) shock or confused.” At one point, Denison wrote, Robert Feldman walked away “as if he was confused, giving your affiant the impression he was over acting in an effort to avoid speaking with him.”
Firefighters at the scene that day later described Robert Feldman as “over-dramatic” and “purposely not cooperative,” according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, Feldman told a police officer he’d left home that morning around 8:30 a.m. to take the couple’s children to a carnival at Temple Sinai and returned around 3 p.m. That’s when he said he found his wife unresponsive in the shower with the water running.
Robert Feldman told police he was unable to see if his wife was face up or face down in the tub but that he pulled her from the shower, called for help and tried to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation while waiting for paramedics to arrive, according to the affidavit.
He also told police that his wife had consumed edible marijuana the previous night then had gone to a party, where she drank alcohol. After returning home, he said she had more marijuana, according to the affidavit.
At the autopsy the next day, a forensic pathologist could not find any internal injuries that would explain how the woman died and stated that further testing would be needed.
In the meantime, Det. Denison spoke with Stacy Feldman’s sister, who said that Robert Feldman told her his wife’s death had been ruled an accident, that she had slipped on conditioner in the shower and drowned. That same conversation, however, yielded contradictions to some of Robert Feldman’s statements to police, according to the affidavit. For instance, Stacy Feldman’s sister said she’d gotten a call from Temple Sinai, the family’s synagogue, because no one had come to pick up his children the day of the carnival. She also said Robert Feldman told family members that he had gone home at noon to walk the family’s dog.
Then – a little more than three weeks after Stacy Feldman’s death – the detective received an anonymous letter. The letter writer claimed that Stacy Feldman had texted a friend about meeting at the temple at noon the day she died and that someone at the church had made phone calls attempting to locate someone to pick up the couple’s children, according to the affidavit.
Detectives ultimately confirmed both of those assertions – a friend later told detectives Stacy Feldman was supposed to meet her at Temple Sinai that day but didn’t show, and people at Temple Sinai had left multiple messages that day in an effort to get someone to pick up the couple’s children.
On May 4, 2015, Dr. Kelly Kobylanski, who performed the autopsy, completed her work and classified Stacy Feldman’s death as “undetermined.” Dr. Kobylanski found both underlying medical conditions – like cardiovascular disease – and multiple injuries – hemorrhages and abrasions. But Dr. Koylanski concluded that the injuries could have been the result of efforts to resuscitate Stacy Feldman and that drowning “cannot be completely excluded.”
Blood tests found multiple prescription drugs in her system – but no THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. If Stacy Feldman had consumed edibles the day before her death as Robert had told police, it would have been expected to be in her system, according to the affidavit.
That same month, according to the affidavit, Robert Feldman told a detective that he’d last talked to his wife around 8:30 a.m. the day she died, that she was tired and was asleep when he took the couple’s children to Temple Sinai. He said in that interview that he left the synagogue between 9:30 and 10 a.m., got home around noon, changed clothes in a laundry room, called out his wife and didn’t get a response, and cleaned the garage before going to a park to work out.
Four months after Stacy Feldman’s death, a woman called Metro Denver Crime Stoppers and said she’d met a man she identified as Robert Feldman on the dating website, Tinder. She said that she’d had dinner at her home with Feldman on Feb. 26, 2015, and they then had sex that night, according to the affidavit.
He had told the woman he’d met on the dating website he was divorced, but after she sensed he was “blowing her off,” she determined that he was married and located an e-mail address for Stacy Feldman, Det. Denison wrote in the affidavit. That woman told detectives she sent an e-mail to Stacy Feldman on March 1, 2015. After confirming the couple was still married, the woman sent Stacy Feldman copies of e-mails she had exchanged with Robert Feldman, according to the Affidavit.
The affidavit also said Stacy Feldman called the woman that morning, “told her Robert cheated on her before and she was ‘done with him.’”
A few hours later, Robert Feldman called 911 to report finding his wife in the tub.
Despite ongoing investigation through 2016, it wasn’t until late last year that that outside expert – whose name was redacted in the affidavit – reviewed the autopsy report, toxicology tests and photographs and concluded that Stacy Feldman was murdered.
That sparked the arrest of Robert Feldman earlier this year.
He is free on a $1 million bond.
Contact 9NEWS reporter Kevin Vaughan with tips about this or any story: firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-871-1862.