A woman accused of conspiring with her boyfriend to kill his parents made a brief first appearance in court Monday.
Jennifer Valiante of Westport, Connecticut, will return to court on November 24. She also faces a charge of hindering prosecution and is being held in lieu of $2 million bond.
Authorities charged her boyfriend, 27-year-old Kyle Navin, on Friday with two counts of murder and two counts of murder with special circumstances, Connecticut State Police said. Navin, who has been in custody since September on an unrelated gun charge, is being held in lieu of $2.5 million bond.
Navin’s parents, Jeffrey and Jeanette Navin, were last seen August 4 at the trash removal and recycling company they owned in Easton, Connecticut, days after losing an appeal in a multimillion-dollar foreclosure case.
Investigators found their remains Friday at a vacant home less than 10 miles away, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Valiante’s attorney, Elliot Warren, said his client has “spoken with police and maintains her innocence.”
Navin’s attorney, Eugene Riccio, has not returned calls seeking comment.
According to the police affidavit supporting Kyle Navin’s arrest, he had texted Valiente that that they needed to figure out the best way to “take them down,” referring to his parents, and “get some money out of them somehow.”
In other text messages to Valiente, Kyle Navin referred to a plan to “solve every single problem and give us a wealthy amazing life” and “wipe out the infection and get $ for life,” according to the affidavit.
The Connecticut Post newspaper quoted Warren as saying the texts were “taken out of context.”
The affidavit also describes Kyle Navin’s long-troubled relationship with his parents, who, it said, were worried about their son’s alleged heroin use.
They planned to sell their company and cut their son out of their will, leaving him on his own financially, investigators said.
A friend of Jeanette Navin’s told investigators that the couple had bought their son a house in his name, but that he had failed to pay the mortgage or taxes, the affidavit said. The home was purchased in cash, and Kyle Navin owed his parents $133,000, according to the court document.
Investigators also learned that the tumultuous relationship between the couple and their son included Jeffrey Navin’s “history of being emotionally and verbally abusive towards his son Kyle,” the court document said. The alleged abuse was investigated by state child welfare authorities, the affidavit said.
According to police, cell phones belonging to the couple had both pinged the same tower near Kyle Navin’s home, and he offered inconsistent accounts of his last interactions with them in interviews with police over several days following their disappearance.
He also told authorities he’d contacted his father that day only to talk about work and a back injury, but cell phone records showed otherwise, according to the arrest affidavit.
Jeffrey Navin sent one message to his son asking, “did you hurt mom?” according to the affidavit.
“No Absolutely not. Why would you think,” Kyle Navin replied.
“I go home and get framed for murder. … I’m going to the police first,” the father responded.
A half hour before Jeffrey Navin’s phone is last registered as being used, there was another text message to his son: “U R setting me up.”
Authorities also have seen surveillance video of the couple using cash to bleach, drain chemicals, stain removers, tape, large trash bags, dryer sheets and bug spray, according to the Connecticut Post. Such items are often used to destroy evidence of a crime, police said, according to the paper.