By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — An ex-con accused of fatally slashing his estranged wife in a Midtown salon claims he killed her in a fit of temporary insanity driven by an uncontrollable jealous fear that she was cheating on him with an ex-husband, DNAinfo has learned.
Michael Kenny, 42, became so unhinged by his fear that his Trinidad-born wife Denise Kenny loved another man and only married him for a green card that he descended into a psychotic rage, said attorney Kevin Canfield.
"He still loved her," said Canfield, who filed a notice of intent Wednesday to use psychiatric records at trial, paving the way for future arguments about Kenny's unstable state of mind when he allegedly stabbed Denise Kenny to death with a 9-inch knife at the beauty parlor where she worked.
But the grieving eldest son of Denise Kenny said his stepfather's claims of cheating and immigration fraud are outrageous — and painted a much different picture of his mother's relationship with the accused murderer.
Davis Ramkissoon, 21, said Kenny was a life-long drug abuser who took advantage of a single mom.
"I want this man to live and suffer — that's what I want. I want him to live until he's 100 years old and I want his mind and conscience to eat away at him slowly," Ramkissoon said.
Ramkissoon denied any allegation his divorced parents had rekindled their relationship, adding that his father moved back to Trinidad years earlier and had lost all contact with his mother.
"It's been four years since they even spoke," he said.
He said his mother and Kenny were, at first, genuinely in love and that she was happy to have companionship after her divorce. The couple met while traveling on an E train several years ago.
She smiled at him, they started talking, and soon they were in a relationship, Ramkissoon explained.
They were married in late 2009. Kenny cleaned up from his former drug-addicted lifestyle, got a job, and moved out of a halfway house in Brooklyn to live with Denise and her sons in Far Rockaway, Queens. But Ramkissoon said the $1,000 per week paycheck Kenny brought home was soon eaten up by drugs again.
On January 8, 2010, Michael Kenny was arrested and charged with choking and assaulting Denise, 41. Days later he was charged with violating a court-issued order of protection by sending her threatening text messages, Manhattan prosecutors said. He was convicted of criminal contempt and sentenced to 60 days in jail, prosecutors said.
On Nov. 18, 2010, Denise asked prosecutors to modify the order of protection to a "limited" order of protection "so that the defendant and the victim could be together," according to court documents.
It was not immediately clear when Kenny was kicked out of the Rockaway, Queens home and returned to a halfway house, but prosecutors said Denise had made up her mind to break off the relationship once and for all after Kenny's abusive attacks and drug use escalated.
On Mar. 10, 2011, the violent convicted felon tracked Denise down to the D'Calinas beauty salon on West 35th Street, where he got a shave and a haircut before allegedly stabbing Denise to death inside the second floor bathroom.
He then fled the salon, leaving behind the knife and allegedly swiping $800 from the cash register before driving to Maryland, where he has a son of his own, Canfield said. He was arrested in Maryland the following night, after a police chase, authorities said. He was extradited to New York and pleaded not guilty. He's currently being held without bail at Rikers Island.
Canfield says Kenny saw only "deceit and machination" in Denise Kenny's decision to break up with him shortly before the attack, and claims Kenny went to the salon to confront her about the suspected cheating when she said something to set him off.
Canfield plans to argue Kenny was psychologically damaged under the "extreme emotional disturbance" condition in the state's criminal procedure law, which has a precedent in other "heat of the moment" murder cases, he said.
If Canfield successfully convinces a judge or jury that Kenny was temporarily insane at the time of the murder, he could be sentenced to 25 years in prison instead of life behind bars, Canfield said.
Canfield added that Kenny was emotionally troubled, after a damaged childhood in which he never knew his father and got hooked on drugs as a teen by his mother's boyfriend, Canfield said. He was further damaged by his 10-year prison sentence for robbery, Canfield said.
"The lifetime drug abuse really messed with his head," Canfield said, adding Kenny was "trying to get his life back together."
Kenny is next due back in court on May 24.