The defense begins calling character witnesses in the Paul Novak trial in an effort to dispel the prosecution's claim he murdered his estranged wife. YNN's Eva McKend has the latest courtroom developments.
MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- Through friends and former colleagues, the defense attempted to paint Paul Novak as a model paramedic, rather than someone capable of murdering his wife.
Rodney Sotomayor was brought to tears as he recounted what he described as a problematic relationship between Michelle LaFrance and Paul Novak. He described his friend of 20 years as a great man and a proud father. His downfall was LaFrance, who Sotomayor said was hostile to Novak's daughter Natalie.
"She was constantly berating Natalie, making her look bad," said Sotomayor.
The District Attorney established Sotomayor hasn't had consistent contact with his "best friend" Novak in years.
And then there was an issue with Sotomayor saying he knew Novak signed over the house at 222 County Route 25 to Catherine, but that was never done. Novak's long time friend had to correct himself on the stand.
Paramedic after paramedic had nothing but good things to say about the defendant's professionalism and bedside manner.
Differing from the paramedics the prosecution called, these men all spoke highly of Novak's character.
"He was an excellent paramedic, very professional, someone that I would want to work with," said Jon Romano.
"He was one of the medics I looked up to when I was riding," added John Louthan.
David Malayev said Novak was the paramedic he would want to walk through the door if something was wrong with him or his family.
Like Sotomayor, he spoke poorly of Novak's ex-girlfriend LaFrance, also claiming she mistreated Novak's daughter.
"There was one occasion I observed that I thought was insane. I was so surprised that she would raise a hand to a child," said Malayev.
But the prosecution established Malayev didn't think too poorly of LaFrance to engage in a joint sexual interaction between Novak and LaFrance and another sexual interaction with LaFrance alone.
Malayev says it was all LaFrance's idea and that she was promiscuous.
The defense will continue calling their witnesses throughout the week.