Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tung Won't Testify in Murder Trial

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Tung Won't Testify in Murder Trial

Article excerpt

Sui Kam "Tony" Tung, the Manhattan computer repair shop owner accused of killing his estranged wife's lover with a bullet to the head, told a judge Monday that he will not take the witness stand at his murder and arson trial, setting the stage for closing arguments to be delivered to the jury today.

Tung, 52, announced his decision not to testify after Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian rejected a series of defense motions in which Tung's attorney maintained that the state had failed to prove 10 of the 11 charges against him. The hearing was conducted outside the presence of the jury, which returns today after a two- week break.

Robert M. Kalisch, the public defender representing Tung, argued unsuccessfully that the lack of direct evidence tying Tung to the March 6, 2011, killing of Robert Cantor, 59, in his Teaneck home required an acquittal. Failing that, Kalisch also argued for the dismissal of the felony murder counts, which maintain that Cantor was killed during the commission of a burglary and arson.

Jerejian said that viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, the standard he had to follow, there was a sufficient basis for the jury to find Tung guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The judge also rejected a request to dismiss certain counts, including one count in which Tung is accused of destroying evidence on his home computer several hours after the murder. The language of the indictment alleges that the computer wiping occurred in Teaneck. Tung's computer was in his Manhattan apartment.

Kalisch challenged one felony murder count by arguing there was no evidence of a burglary at Cantor's house. He said the second felony murder count alleging Cantor was killed during an arson also was faulty because the testimony at trial was that Cantor had died before his body was doused with alcohol and set ablaze.

While witnesses testified there was no sign of forced entry at the doors and windows of Cantor's home, that didn't preclude an unlawful entry at the point of a gun, said Wayne Mello, the lead prosecutor on the case.

Kalisch said he did not challenge a stalking count because Tung admitted in a statement he gave to police the day after the murder that he had gone to Cantor's house on three occasions in the prior year after learning of his wife's affair. …

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