EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The husband of slain talk show radio host April Kauffman was arrested Tuesday on charges unrelated to his wife's 2012 killing, after he pulled a gun and barricaded himself inside his medical office here to keep investigators from executing a search warrant, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said.
After a tense 45-minute standoff, Dr. James Kauffman, who threatened to kill himself and threatened police with a 9mm Ruger pistol, surrendered, Tyner said.
Kauffman, 68, of Linwood, was taken into custody, underwent a psychological examination and was taken to the Atlantic County jail in Mays Landing, where he is held pending a hearing on weapons charges stemming from the standoff. He is scheduled to appear Wednesday in court for a detention hearing.
Tyner said Kauffman was very unstable at the time police approached him, and he waved his handgun in a threatening manner toward the officers.
“He brandished a weapon and pointed it at law enforcement officers,” Tyner said.
The gun was one of 100 Kauffman owns legally, the prosecutor said. But the intent to harm an officer was a criminal offense, he said.
"He was very adamant that he did not want to be served with any type of papers," Tyner said in an afternoon press conference, one of two he held Tuesday.
After Kauffman's arrest, investigators from the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, aided by FBI agents and Egg Harbor Township and Linwood police, spent the next several hours searching the medical offices and Kauffman's Linwood home. Special Agent Jessica Weisman of the FBI based in Northfield said Tuesday she could not comment on the matter. She only confirmed the FBI was on the scene of Kaufman’s arrest in an official capacity with the county prosecutor's office.
The search warrants issued for Kauffman’s business and home were unrelated to April Kauffman's killing. Tyner said it was too early to determine whether the search turned up valuable evidence. Asked whether the search warrant was connected to the investigation into April Kauffman's unsolved, May 2012 homicide, he replied, "No, but yes."
The current investigation, which Tyner did not discuss in detail, was "ongoing" and "widespread," and connections to the homicide were "yet to be seen."
Last month, prosecutors sought a DNA sample from Kauffman, but the results of Judge Bernard DeLury's decision have been sealed.
Tyner, speaking outside Kauffman's offices earlier in the day, would not discuss the judge's ruling, saying, “We respect Judge DeLury’s thoughtful and cogent decision.”
Tyner did speak about the April Kauffman case in his morning briefing to media.
“The April Kauffman case is very important to her family and to this community,” Tyner said. “Though the case has been rather quiet for the past five years, it is a very active case. Every day that passes, we learn more as more people remember things, and I hope that I will be able to bring some peace and some closure to this family and this community.”
Kauffman, who was processed at the Egg Harbor Township Police Department on Tuesday, will be detained for 48 hours on the weapons charges. Tyner said his office would request that Kauffman be detained until his trial.
Neighbors and the curious were busy along the Linwood bike path Tuesday morning.
Joe Geromini, a friend of Kim Pack, April Kauffman's daughter, was dropping of lunch at Mainland Regional High School in Linwood when his curiosity brought him past the Kauffman house on Woodstock Drive. He said he was relieved to hear there was an arrest.
"I think it is interesting the charges are unrelated to the murder of April Kauffman. But they know what they are doing. They look at other aspects of this guy's life and obviously there was something if they were able to get a search warrant,” Geromini said. “I am really glad that this is moving forward."
Staff Writer Vincent Jackson contributed to this report.