A murder trial has begun against a Florida man accused of killing his wife, whose skeletal remains were found years after the alleged crime buried in the backyard of the family home.
The murder trial against Michael Haim, who stands accused of murdering his wife in 1993, began on Monday, April 10, in a Florida court, WJXT reported.
Haim maintains he played no part in Bonnie Haim’s death.
The couple’s son, Aaron Haim, who was three years old at the time his mother died, is expected to testify.
Aaron, who was adopted after Bonnie vanished, made statements at the time that implicated his father in his mother’s alleged murder.
“Aaron also stated that, ‘Daddy shot Mommy’ and, ‘My daddy could not wake her up,’” a 2015 arrest affidavit stated, according to WJXT.
A Gruesome Find
Aaron excavated the back yard of his childhood home in 2014 and made a gruesome discovery—human remains.
They were the skull and bones of his mother.
The find led prosecutors to charge Michael Haim with second-degree murder.
“The truth was always out there, buried in their backyard,” Assistant State Attorney Alan Mizrahi said in opening statements in the murder trial on Tuesday, according to WJXT.
“From what Aaron told us that day, my only conclusion was that there had been a domestic fight and that Michael Haim had killed his wife and had removed her, and that their three-and-a-half-year-old son Aaron Haim had witnessed this,” said Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department Detective Robert Hinson, speaking on an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries,” according to The Washington Post.
The validity of Aaron’s statements to investigators is certain to be challenged by Michael Haim’s defense team.
“The credibility of a child is something that you have to judge in perspective,” said Bonnie’s father, Robert Pasciuto, according to The Post. “He’s said a couple of things that we know were not true. ‘Mom’s car is in the lake.’ We know her car wasn’t there.”
Haim’s defense attorney Janis Warren argued in the trial’s opening remarks that there was insufficient evidence to find her client guilty of murder.
“We agree she’s dead. We agree that’s her body in the backyard. But they have to prove to you that he did it,” she said, WJXT reported. “When you listen to the evidence, ladies and gentlemen, and when you’re finished, you’re gonna see the lack of evidence in this case far outweighs any evidence they brought you.”
A Mother Vanishes
Bonnie Haim went missing in January 1993.
Her then-husband gave an interview shortly after she vanished.
“Basically she just wasn’t happy and she wanted to leave, and I couldn’t stop her from leaving,” he told WJXT.
According to “Unsolved Mysteries,” the couple would frequently get into fights.
“One day they got into an argument … in the car park,” Michael’s aunt, Eveann Haim, told the show, according to The Post. “And she came in crying and he had slammed her hand in the door and her nails were broke and she was very upset at that point.”
Bonnie reportedly planned to leave the relationship and take their son with her.
Then on Jan. 7 she failed to show up for work.
Suspicion soon fell on Michael in light of incriminating statements Aaron made, such as when he said “Daddy hurt her,” according to the Flordia Times-Union.
Investigators failed to turn up physical evidence linking Micheal to the crime. Also, there was no body.
It wasn’t until 2014 that Aaron, while renovating the family home, discovered the skull and bones of his late mother. A .22 caliber shell casing was found with the remains, the Times-Union reported. Michael reportedly owned a rifle of the same caliber.
Aaron’s father was officially charged with his Bonnie’s murder in August 2015.
Bonnie’s family members posted a copy of a court document on Jan. 22 on a Facebook page dedicated to her memory. They wrote, “Hopefully this will be the final ‘Order Setting Jury Trial’ issued in this case. April just can’t come soon enough.”
Hopefully this will be the final "Order Setting Jury Trial" issued in this case. April just can't come soon enough.
“Next month is going to hurt,” the family wrote on the Facebook page. “It is going to rip off bandages and expose us to things we had long ago pushed to the back of our memories. But sometimes we have to rip off bandages to really begin to heal.”
The trial continues.