District Attorney’s Office will seek 25 years to life for convicted killer Jacob Klein
ALBANY – Following a three-week trial, an Albany County jury convicted Jacob Klein of second degree murder for the April 2022 killing of 35-year-old Philip Rabadi.
After having deliberated for two hours on Oct. 4, the jury convicted Klein when it reconvened the next morning. The guilty verdict was announced at 10:21 a.m. to a packed courtroom that included Rabadi’s father, Shaw Rabadi, who appeared emotional when the jury verdict was read and reached for tissues in his pocket. As the jury exited the courtroom, he nodded his head toward each of them as if to thank them.
Assistant District Attorney and lead prosecutor in the case, Jessica Blain-Lewis, said she was feeling “relief” at the guilty verdict.
“You never know what the jury is focusing on,” she said. “There was a mountain of video evidence. … I have never seen anyone spending so much time planning something like this.”
Judge William Little, who oversaw the three- week trial, asked Klein if he wanted to say anything, but Klein declined. Klein, who represented himself, made the decision not to testify on his own behalf during the trial.
When asked whether Klein’s decision to represent himself handicapped his defense, Blain-Lewis said, “Do I think he took a different tact than an attorney would? Probably. Did he focus on things an attorney might not? He may have.”
However, she said that his rights were protected because he was instructed numerous times by the judge that he could exercise his right to counsel and he had two legal advisors present in the courtroom.
During the trial, two jurors were dismissed from the panel – one due to illness and one who reported that they had overheard conversation in the courthouse that led them to feel they could no longer be impartial. Those jurors were replaced by two of the four alternate jurors who had attended the trial from the beginning.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 8, and Klein was remanded to the Albany County jail pending sentencing. Blain-Lewis said her office will ask the sentencing judge to impose the maximum sentence of 25 years to life.
Shortly after Rabadi was found dead in his New Scotland home on April 13, 2022, investigators honed in on Klein for the killing of Rabadi due to a prior relationship Klein had with Rabadi’s wife.
Klein was captured two days after the murder and arraigned in Virginia and then extradited to New York. He was re-arraigned in New Scotland Town Court on April 21, 2022, where he entered a not guilty plea on a felony charge of second degree murder.
On April 25, 2022, he was indicted by a grand jury. Because he was charged with a felony, he was sent to the Albany County jail to await trial.
Will Klein appeal?
Klein has 30 days to file a notice of appeal from the date of sentencing. Blain-Lewis said she expects that he will.
”That’s normally in the course of things what happens,” she said.
However, as to the viability of an appeal, she said that although she would not speak to the legal issues, she made clear that during the trial, “we do everything we can to protect the record relative to a potential appeal.”
In a joint statement released by the Rabadi and Radin families after the guilty verdict was handed down, the families thanked the “community for the unwavering support and love we have received since our beloved Philip Rabadi was tragically taken from us.”
In honor of Philip Rabadi’s memory, the families have established the Phil With Love Foundation, which is dedicated to honoring and spreading “love, kindness and compassion” and to “ensuring that Philip’s legacy and light continues to shine in the lives of those who will follow in his footsteps and in the lives of those in need.”
“We are very pleased that we can bring some comfort to the family who suffered this incredibly terrible tragedy,” Blain-Lewis said.
While she hoped the family can have some sense of closure, she also recognized it would be hard for them.
“While there is a bit of closure, it will never go away. They lost a son,” she said.
This story was updated October 6