United States jury to begin deliberations in trial of Russian accused of killing his girlfriend

Jurors will begin deliberations on Friday in the trial of a Russian woman accused of beating her former lover's girlfriend to death in 2004. Irina Malinovskaya, 23, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Irina Zlotnikov, 24, on Dec. 23, 2004 . Zlotnikov was struck in the face nine times with an object resembling a crowbar. Her boyfriend, Robert Bondar, found her nude body in a pool of blood in the kitchen of his apartment.

In closing arguments Thursday in Superior Court, prosecutor Victoria Roe Witherell said Malinovskaya, a student at the University of Pennsylvania , began dating Bondar, who attended Widener University law school, in 2003. They broke up the next year, but kept in touch and, Witherell said, occasionally had sex.

"Her obsession grew so strong it eventually became a fatal attraction," Witherell told jurors, the local News Journal newspaper reported.

Earlier this week, Malinovskaya testified that she had visited Bondar on Dec. 21, 2004 . The next day, she said, she waited in a car outside Bodnar's apartment, hoping to see him with Zlotnikov, his new girlfriend. When the couple left, Malinovskaya testified, she followed them but lost them.

Malinovskaya said she returned to the apartment Dec. 23, 2004 , but Bondar was not there. Malinovskaya testified she tried to use her keys to open the apartment door and left the apartment about 11 a.m.

Bondar returned to his apartment about 12:40 p.m. and found Zlotnikov's body.

The murder weapon has not been found, reports the AP.


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