Islip Terrace man accused of strangling wife pleads not guilty

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CENTRAL ISLIP -

An Islip Terrace man accused of strangling his wife pleaded not guilty to murder charges Thursday.

Steven Strub, 39, was arraigned inside a Central Islip courtroom on murder charges in the death of his estranged wife, 40-year-old Rachelle Weeks-Strub. She was the mother of his 1-year-old boy and living in a Centereach basement apartment. Police say she was found strangled in the apartment on June 1. 

Defense attorney Craig McElwee says his client has been diagnosed with mental disorders and is on seven different medications. He says Strub was in a drug rehabilitation center when he called to check on his wife. After receiving no answer at the home, McElwee says his client called his mother to go check on her. He says it was then that she was found deceased.

According to Weeks-Strub's Facebook page, addiction played a role in the breakup of their marriage. She wrote: "Straight Up...Addiction Sucks." 

Strub sounded ominous on his Facebook page, writing: "I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life because if I can't have her then I don't want anyone." 

Court papers say Strub confessed to strangling his wife, but his attorney says police deprived him of his medication. He says the confession will be challenged.

"I've just found that he was on medication that he was supposed to take every six hours, and he was deprived of those medications for in excess of 12 hours during the interrogation," says McElwee. 

Strub's case will be presented to a grand jury Friday. The judge ordered Strub held without bail. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

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