Building superintendent testifies at 'Black Sunday' trial

The superintendent of the Bronx building that caught fire in 2005, resulting in the deaths of two New York City firefighters, took the witness stand Saturday at the ?Black Sunday? trial. Prosecutors

News 12 Staff

Jan 31, 2009, 8:04 PM

Updated 5,653 days ago

Share:

The superintendent of the Bronx building that caught fire in 2005, resulting in the deaths of two New York City firefighters, took the witness stand Saturday at the ?Black Sunday? trial.
Prosecutors questioned Rafael Rodriguez about his knowledge of the existence of an illegal partition in apartment 4L that allegedly prevented Lt. Curtis Meyran and John Bellew from escaping the burning building, forcing them to jump to their deaths.
After initially saying he does not remember the partition, Rodriguez eventually admitted that he painted the illegal structure inside the apartment of Caridad Coste a year and a half before the incident.
Coste?s attorney, Francisco Knipping, insists his client was not present at the apartment when the illegal partition was erected.
?I understand the partition was built in the daytime, and she wasn't ever in the apartment,? Knipping says.
Last week, an investigator for the Department of Buildings testified that he discovered studs and two-by-fours from the partition when he entered the apartment after the fire.
The defense argues that even if the illegal partition was put in place, it did not contribute to the firefighters? deaths.
Coste, Rafael Castillo, and Cesar Rios, the building's landlord, face manslaughter charges in connection to the 2005 fire.
Ex-firefighter testifies in day 11 of 'Black Sunday' trial Surviving 'Black Sunday' firefighter cross-examined Surviving firefighter testifies in 'Black Sunday' trial Jurors hear radio transmissions in 'Black Sunday' trialTestimony continues in 'Black Sunday' trial Defendants in 'Black Sunday' case go on trial


More from News 12
2:13
Police: Fake company 'Top Line Masonry' scammed homeowners in Floral Park

Police: Fake company 'Top Line Masonry' scammed homeowners in Floral Park

1:45
Muggy Thursday with chance for storms; less humid weekend ahead

Muggy Thursday with chance for storms; less humid weekend ahead

Biden delivers solemn call to defend democracy as he lays out his reasons for quitting race

Biden delivers solemn call to defend democracy as he lays out his reasons for quitting race

Police: Teen struck by car while riding bike in Rockville Centre

Police: Teen struck by car while riding bike in Rockville Centre

1:16
Two LI natives go for gold at Summer Olympics

Two LI natives go for gold at Summer Olympics

1:56
Nassau Democrats block vote on borrowing until grant money released

Nassau Democrats block vote on borrowing until grant money released

1:43
Bay Shore Assembly of God school's sudden closure leaves parents scrambling

Bay Shore Assembly of God school's sudden closure leaves parents scrambling

2:42
'Gonna save at least one.' Eastport father who lost daughter to cancer turns grief into helping others

'Gonna save at least one.' Eastport father who lost daughter to cancer turns grief into helping others

1:26
Riverhead BOE approves plan to bring resource officers to schools

Riverhead BOE approves plan to bring resource officers to schools

0:27
Farmingdale parent files lawsuit in connection to deadly bus crash

Farmingdale parent files lawsuit in connection to deadly bus crash

0:26
Police: Suspect wanted for robbing Stop & Shop in East Meadow

Police: Suspect wanted for robbing Stop & Shop in East Meadow

0:28
Police: Suspect arrested for burglarizing Macy’s at Green Acres Mall multiple times

Police: Suspect arrested for burglarizing Macy’s at Green Acres Mall multiple times

0:18
Volunteers plant trees at Oakdale facility for people with developmental disabilities

Volunteers plant trees at Oakdale facility for people with developmental disabilities

1:45
Long Beach School Board renews talks to close elementary school following survey results

Long Beach School Board renews talks to close elementary school following survey results

0:23
Police: Third teen arrested for causing $600K in damage to Shelter Island home

Police: Third teen arrested for causing $600K in damage to Shelter Island home

1:38
Optimum donates $2,500 to Henry Viscardi School following wheelchair basketball game

Optimum donates $2,500 to Henry Viscardi School following wheelchair basketball game

1:50
New mental health clinic opens at NUMC

New mental health clinic opens at NUMC

0:18
Police: 3 men wanted for stealing $6,000 worth of sunglasses in Lake Grove

Police: 3 men wanted for stealing $6,000 worth of sunglasses in Lake Grove

0:20
Big Lots to close stores nationwide, including 2 locations on Long Island

Big Lots to close stores nationwide, including 2 locations on Long Island

0:16
Riverhead police chief announces departure from department

Riverhead police chief announces departure from department