. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Pleads in Hatchet Slaying

NEW CITY, New York -- A Russian immigrant pleaded innocent to charges she helped her cousin kill her husband, a noted cancer researcher whose body parts were dumped in a New Jersey river.


Rita Gluzman, 48, was the first woman ever charged with crossing state lines to commit domestic violence. Her attorney entered her plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court in White Plains. Under the two-year-old Interstate Domestic Violence Act, Gluzman faces a maximum sentence of life without parole in the death of Yakov Gluzman, 48.


According to the indictment, she drove with her cousin Vladimir Zelenin, 40, from her Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, estate to her husband's apartment in Pearl River, New York, on April 6. There, the pair "attacked Yakov Gluzman with an ax and hatchet," killing him, the indictment said. Zelenin then allegedly dismembered him. Then, according to the indictment, Gluzman drove off carrying plastic bags filled with body parts from her husband of 27 years.


, who had been chopped into more than 60 pieces, authorities said





Vladimir Zelenin, 40, of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, was charged in the murder and reportedly has implicated Rita Gluzman in the slaying.





She has been held without bail since she was found April 12 in a cabin at the Long Island laboratory where her husband once worked.


Yakov Gluzman, 48, also a Russian immigrant, had filed for divorce four months before his murder, claiming his wife was abusive and spent too much money. Rita Gluzman countered in court papers that her husband was having an affair.


Rita Gluzman then allegedly "cleaned blood, among other things," from her murdered husband's apartment, while


in a Nissan Maxima


, Michael Rosen,