Murder suspect gave dead wife’s belongings to Goodwill day after funeral

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Jurors in Hanover County heard the murder trial of a Mechanicsville man charged with killing his wife last September.

After three days of testimony from prosecutors, the defense told the court it will not be presenting any evidence or witnesses. The man on trial, Harshadkumar Jadav, opted not to testify on his own behalf.

Jadav is accused of using a hammer to beat his 30-year-old wife Reena to death. Her body was discovered in a neighbor’s backyard last Labor Day.

 

In court on Wednesday, a deputy testified that while Jadav told investigators he was sleeping when his wife was killed, cell phone records show his cell phone pinging on several towers outside of his neighborhood.

Those towers just happened to be in the area where the suspected murder weapon and clothing were tossed on the side of U.S. 301; evidence that had DNA of both the suspect and the victim.

Jurors also heard from investigators that when Jadav was arrested, he had a backpack filled with more than $10,000 in cash, his passport, documents about his wife’s $1 million life insurance policy and a pair of underwear — the same brand and same style as underwear recovered with the suspected murder weapon.

Two members of the victim’s family also took the stand Wednesday afternoon — Reena’s father, who broke down when describing the last time he saw his daughter alive, and her brother, who said the suspect acted detached after his wife’s death.

Reena’s brother said Jadav did not show up for his wife’s celebration of life or participate in scattering her ashes. And just a day after her funeral, Reena’s brother said Jadav told the family he had donated all of her things to Goodwill.

The defense argued that Jadav was more than cooperative with investigators and hinted that the victim may have suffered from some condition that may have caused her to go out late at night and put herself in dangerous situations.

Both sides will give closing arguments Thursday before the case goes to the jury. 8News will be in the courtroom for Thursday’s proceedings.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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