According to court documents Randy Tundidor and his son would force their way into the home of Joseph Morrissey. Morrissey would be beaten and robbed before his house was set on fire. Thankfully Morrisey wife and young son would escape the fire
Randy Tundidor would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Randy Tundidor Photos
Randy Tundidor Now
|Name:||TUNDIDOR, RANDY W|
|Initial Receipt Date:||11/17/2014|
|Current Facility:||UNION C.I.|
|Current Release Date:||DEATH SENTENCE|
Randy Tundidor Case
Spared the death penalty after taking part in the brutal home-invasion murder of a Nova Southeastern University professor two years ago, Randy H. Tundidor, 24, was sentenced Friday in a Broward courtroom to 40 years in prison.
It was a lighter sentence than requested by the wife of the victim. Linda Morrissey had asked that Tundidor spend the rest of his life in prison.
“The entire family believes that Randy Tundidor Jr. deserves to die,″ Linda Morrissey told the judge before sentencing. “We recommend that he receive life in prison without the possibility of parole.″
However Broward Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Imperato said the son’s willingness to testify against his father should be taken into consideration.
“I do believe without him the state would not have had a case.″
Tundidor testified in April during the first-degree murder trial of his father, Randy W. Tundidor, 46, that he thought they were going to the Plantation home of Joseph Morrissey, the elder Tundidor’s landlord, to scare him on the night of April 5, 2010.
The elder Tundidor was upset with Morrissey and wanted to send a message after receiving a letter from Morrissey that day demanding overdue rent, according to the younger Tundidor’s testimony.
But the crime quickly escalated to a home invasion, murder and arson that shocked South Florida for its brutality.
The elder Tundidor, of Plantation, was found guilty in May by a Broward County jury of 10 felony criminal charges, including first-degree murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, armed kidnapping, burglary and arson.
In October, the jury of six men and six women reconvened to hear testimony and begin deliberating whether to recommend life in prison or Death Row for the 2010 murder of Joseph Morrissey, 46, the Nova Southwestern University assistant professor and science researcher who rented a town house to Tundidor.
Tundidor’s attorneys said their client told them to not put on witnesses to speak on his behalf.
Defense attorney Richard Rosenbaum said he was prepared to advocate Tundidor be sentenced to life in prison, but his client did not want him to do that.
Imperato will have the final say on Tundidor’s punishment. Rarely do judges stray from a jury’s recommendation. Though a status hearing for the elder Tundidor is scheduled for Dec. 12, Imperato’s decision likely won’t come until early next year.
Jurors reached their guilty verdict against the elder Tundidor after almost two weeks of trial that included dramatic testimony from the victim’s widow, Tundidor’s two sons and his girlfriend.
In August 2011, Randy H. Tundidor, the eldest son, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder to avoid the death penalty.
During his father’s trial, Randy H. Tundidor testified that he was a drug-addicted drifter who broke into the Morrisseys’ home, held the couple at gunpoint, bound their hands and feet with plastic ties, rummaged through their house for valuables and forced them to drive to an ATM to withdraw cash.
But it was his father, the younger Tundidor said, who plotted the crime and fatally stabbed Morrissey.
After stabbing Morrissey to death, the elder Tundidor turned his attention to Linda Morrissey and the couple’s young son.
“He said, ’They’ve got to go, too,‴ Randy H. Tundidor testified in April.
But, the younger Tundidor told the jury he couldn’t kill them.
“I can’t do that,″ he said he told his father. “I can’t kill no kid.″
The elder Tundidor became upset, his son testified, and went into the Morrisseys’ garage, where he instructed his son to grab a gasoline can.
Randy W. Tundidor poured it around Morrissey’s body and the kitchen area, his son said, and then he lit it a paper towel on fire, and dropped it on the gasoline while Linda Morrissey — still bound at her hands and feet — and son Patrick, then 5, remained in the master bedroom.
The younger Tundidor testified that his father murdered Morrissey with a 16-inch Bowie knife, and that after the crime the elder Tundidor ground the blade with a power tool. Randy H. Tundidor said he threw the murder weapon in a lake near the townhouse his father was renting from Morrissey.
Police never recovered the Bowie knife, and prosecutors presented no physical evidence placing the elder Tundidor at the Morrisseys’ house on the night of the murder.
The younger Tundidor, though, was tied to the crime scene through DNA evidence he left on the gasoline can cap, and Joseph Morrissey’s blood, which was found on the sleeve of his T-shirt.
Still, prosecutors presented the jury with plenty of evidence pointing to the elder Tundidor as the killer.
Among that evidence are letters the elder Tundidor wrote to his son while in prison, after the younger Tundidor agreed to testify against his father.
Though the content of the letters were not read into the record at trial, the younger Tundidor said his father was instructing him to “cover up certain things” and was trying to persuade him not to testify.
The younger Tundidor initially refused to implicate his father, but said he changed his mind after realizing that the elder Tundidor wanted to blame his sons for the crime.
“The fact that he would sit here and say it’s me and my brother who did this, that’s wrong,″ he said. “You shouldn’t hurt your kids. A father’s job is to protect his kids.″