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Man Pleads Not Guilty to Killing Au Pair, Comedy Club Owner in Crime That Rocked New Jersey Community

Police said text messages show that the slain au pair wanted to end her relationship with the alleged killer, and wanted him to return house keys

What to Know

  • The jilted lover of an au pair pleaded not guilty to stabbing her and her boss to death in the employer's home in Maplewood
  • Joseph Porter, who had been given a key to the home by the au pair, was arrested at Newark Airport when he allegedly tried to flee to Mexico
  • Police said text messages show that the 26-year-old au pair, Karen Bermudez-Rodriguez, wanted to end her relationship with Porter

A jilted lover has pleaded not guilty to charges of killing the au pair he was dating and her comedy club-owning boss in the employer's New Jersey home earlier this month.

The au pair, 26-year-old Karen Bermudez-Rodriguez, was found stabbed to death on the front lawn, her employer, 40-year-old David Kimowitz, stabbed to death on Aug. 3 inside the home in Maplewood, where neighbors were rocked by the brutal crime in what is otherwise a quiet and low-crime residential suburb. 

Their alleged killer, 27-year-old Joseph Porter of Elizabeth, was ordered held without bail pending trial after his arraignment on Wednesday. 

Prosecutors say Porter first stabbed Kimowitz and also stabbed Bermudez-Rodriguez in the house. The woman was able to run away; Porter allegedly chased her outside and killed her on the front lawn. Investigators following her blood trail encountered Kimowitz already dead inside the home.

Investigators say texts showed Bermudez-Rodriguez had tried to break off their relationship about an hour before Porter arrived at the home. She had given him a key to her employer's house, which is how officials say he got in that day.

Porter was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport as he tried to fly to Cancun, Mexico. 

Kimowitz, whose wife and children were not home at the time of the attack, owned The Stand Restaurant and Comedy Club in Union Square.

After the homicides, Comedian Rich Vos posted that Kimowitz was a "great guy and friend." Aaron Berg wrote Kimowitz was "essential to New York." Paul Virzi said it was "just sickening."

Information on Porter's attorney wasn't immediately clear. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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