It took six jurors only 90 minutes to decide that a former Northeast Nebraskan, Adam Frasch, brutally beat his estranged wife, Samira, and killed her by pushing her unconscious body into their swimming pool three years ago.
A few moments after the guilty verdict was read in a Florida courtroom, Frasch's jet-setting life as a successful podiatrist rife with lavish cars, women, houses and cash, was over. He traded his flashy watch and piercing blue sharkskin jacket for handcuffs and a prison jumpsuit, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
Frasch was sentenced last week to life in prison Thursday in a brief courtroom appearance while his father and brothers sat quietly in the pews behind him.
Frasch grew up in Ainsworth and graduated from Pierce High School in 1985. He and Samira, his third wife, met in France after he’d moved to Florida.
When Samira Mbotizafy Frasch arrived in Tallahassee in 2010, she told of a glamorous past in which she modeled for a top agency in Paris and attended the prestigious Université Paris-Sud, known for its math studies.
The couple were married in Las Vegas in 2009. They had two daughters, Hyrah and Skynaah, who are both under the age of 10.
The Tallahassee newspaper reported that the speedy verdict in the “unruly" case surprised Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman.
“I felt like I had some obstacles to overcome,” she said of the conflicting testimony and imperfect medical findings during the trial.
“The defense definitely had some good, what I call, 'red herrings' to work with. That does make a challenge for the prosecution,” she said. “It was a hard-fought, long-anticipated verdict.”
Samira Frasch’s body was found by a maintenance man in the pool at the couple’s posh Golden Eagle home on Feb. 22, 2014.
At 8 that morning, Adam Frasch fled the home for Panama City Beach in a rented GMC Yukon with their two young daughters in tow. In doing so, he violated a previous court order giving custody of the children to his wife.
Three hours later, Samira's body was found. She died from blunt force trauma to the head and drowning.
Frasch told investigators his wife drank two bottles of champagne and became upset about other women in his life. Earlier in the night, they were reconciling, Frasch said. But medical exams would prove she didn’t have alcohol in her system, the newspaper reported.
The timing of Frasch’s departure from the home and the difficulty in determining how long his wife’s body had been in the pool was integral to his defense.
Frasch’s attorney Clyde Taylor said he was disappointed in the outcome of the case, which he said was based on circumstantial evidence and speculation.
“I think the time of death is absolutely critical,” Taylor told reporters following the verdict. “She wasn’t in that pool for more than an hour. If it was less than an hour or even two hours or three hours, my client was in Panama City. He wasn’t here.”
Cappleman conceded the case had circumstantial evidence. But in its totality, it painted a picture of a distraught Frasch at the end of his rope in his rocky marriage.
At the time of her death, Samira had filed for divorce. She’d told friends she was worried her husband would kill her.
“I think domestic violence is about power and in this case the tables had turned in her favor. I think that was very frustrating to Mr. Frasch,” she said. “I think he acted out in anger, and then once he had inflicted the damage to her head, he felt he had no way out other than to finish the job and make it look like an accident.”