FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - After weeks of testimony, the prosecution and the defense gave their closing arguments Monday afternoon in the trial of Randy Tundidor Sr., who is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of a Nova Southeastern University professor.
Defense attorneys want jurors to remember Tundidor as an overweight asthmatic with knee and back problems who needed a cane to walk, a man physically incapable of stabbing professor Joseph Morrissey to death.
But in a powerful close to the prosecution's rebuttal case, the last piece of evidence jurors saw was a 10-second clip of Tundidor walking away from TV cameras three days after Morissey was killed, smoking a cigarette with barely a limp.
In their closing arguments, prosecutors called Tundidor the mastermind of the April 2010 killing. They said he called the shots when his son, Randy Tundidor Jr., broke into the home and tied up Morrissey and his wife.
The evidence is strong. Prosecutors pointed to the burned clothes discovered behind the Tundidors' business, a MapQuest search of Morrisey's home and an audio clip that secretly captured Randy Tundidor Sr. talking about the crime days later.
"Instead of doing what I said the whole time, he was all cracked up," Randy Tundidor Sr. said in the recording.
"There was nothing in his testimony that proves that Randy committed this offense," said Randy Tundidor Sr.'s attorney.
But defense attorneys claimed Randy Tundidor Jr. killed the professor on a crack-fueled mission for cash.
They pointed out that only Randy Tundidor Jr.'s DNA was found in the house and that only he had Morrisey's blood on his clothes.
They said Randy Tundidor Jr. is pointing the finger at his dad to avoid the death penalty.
"And he will say and tell you anything to get it," Randy Tundidor Sr.'s attorney said.
The jury is set to begin deliberations at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Randy Tundidor Sr. faces 10 counts, including premeditated first-degree murder. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
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