MAYS LANDING — Dr. James Kauffman, of Linwood, pleaded not guilty Thursday to weapons and obstruction charges in a brief hearing in Atlantic County Superior Court.
Kauffman, 68, was indicted earlier this month on weapons charges and one obstruction charge stemming from a 45-minute armed standoff as a search warrant was executed at his medical office June 13 by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, with FBI agents and local police agencies.
The endocrinologist appeared for his post-indictment arraignment in an orange jumpsuit, his hair completely white, a stark contrast to his first court appearance in June. Kauffman wore thick-framed glasses and carried a copy of John Grisham’s “Sycamore Row” as he took his seat next to his attorney, Louis Barbone of Jacobs and Barbone of Atlantic City.
Kauffman has been in custody since his arrest. His wife, Carol Weintraub, sat alone in the courtroom Thursday afternoon behind her husband.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner was also present, seated across the aisle from Weintraub.
During the arraignment, Barbone indicated to Judge Bernard DeLury that discovery is complete and the defense intends to make additional motions, although he did not specify what those motions are.
Atlantic County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy told DeLury the state has offered a plea agreement to Kauffman that includes a five-year prison term, of which Kauffman must serve three years before he is eligible for parole. The plea agreement also includes a stipulation that Kauffman must forfeit the money seized during the execution of the search warrant.
After the arraignment, Tyner said depending on the motions before the court, a trial could begin in early 2018.
Kauffman was married to veterans advocate and radio host April Kauffman when she was found slain in their shared home in May 2012, but he was never named as a suspect in the unsolved case.
In May, he was the subject of a court motion by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office to obtain DNA as part of the murder investigation. Judge DeLury, who also heard the motion, sealed the decision.
After his arrest the following month, Kauffman’s attorney Edwin Jacobs told reporters five search warrants were issued at his Egg Harbor Township medical office related to a homicide and health care fraud investigation.
Kauffman’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 19 at 1:30 p.m. for a disposition conference.