The son of a man charged with murdering a Nova Southeastern professor took to the stand Wednesday to testify against his father.
The 23 year-old is testifying against his father, who bears the same first name, in a Broward County courtroom, as the father faces first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and arson charges in the April 2010 killing of a Nova Southeastern University professor.
Prosecutors say that the victim was in the process of evicting his tenant, the accused, when he murdered the victim in his home in Plantation.
The state says that the accused's son forced his way into the victim's home and made the couple drive him to an ATM to withdraw $500. The soon testified Tuesday that when he got the couple back to their home, he tied them up and told his father on a walkie talkie to come in.
The son said that he watched his father murder the victim and then set the home on fire.
The only evidence linking the father to the crime is the testimony of his son - a drug-addicted multiple felon who received a plea deal in exchange for his testimony. The son will not face the death penalty. However, he has not yet been sentenced and can be given up to life in prison for his involvement in the crime. He is charged with a number of serious felonies regarding his role in the incident.
There is no physical evidence linking the father to the crime. The victim's wife - who survived the ordeal - did not see the father and cannot identify whether he was present when her husband was killed. The only piece of evidence against the father will come in the form of testimony from his son.
There is no doubt that the son had a motive to blame his father. The son was looking at the death penalty and by blaming his father - as well as being willing to testify in trial against him - he preserved his own life.
Based on the evidence, I am not convinced that the father was the actual killer. It seems more plausible that the son - who admitted his role in the incident, which included kidnapping and robbing the victim and his wife - killed the victim to avoid being identified.
But then again - that is not up to me. The ultimate factual issues will be decided by the jury.
The father faces the death penalty if convicted.