Former attorney of convicted killer takes stand in sentencing hearing

Randy Tundidor Sr. to learn Tuesday whether he will get life in prison, death penalty

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A convicted killer is expected to learn Tuesday whether he'll spend the rest of his life in jail or get the death penalty.

A jury recommended that Randy Tundidor Sr. be put to death for the murder of Nova Southeastern professor Dr. Joseph Morrissey.

On Tuesday morning, an attorney, who at one point represented both Tundidor Sr. and Randy Tundidor Jr., testified that another attorney, Jim Lewis, instructed his clients to destroy crucial evidence.

According to criminal defense attorney Joe Pappacoda, Lewis told him that he had instructed the father and son to dump the gun used to rob and intimidate Morrissey, his wife and 5-year old son in April 2010. Police said the gun jammed up and misfired several times during the robbery. The gun was later reported stolen, though that now seems to have been a move to scam the insurance company and cover up the crime.

"Jim Lewis told Randy, 'You can't have that gun in your house. You have to get rid of the gun,'" said Pappacoda on the stand.

During cross examination, prosecutor Tom Coleman put Pappacoda on the spot, questioning his motives and his involvement.

"If the state gets evidence and knowledge that it is chopped up and mangled and strewn around the house, and in the rafters and in the ceiling -- that's evidence of guilt, because there wasn't a whole lot of evidence other than testimony against Randy Tundidor Sr.," said Pappacoda. "There were no forensics, no fingerprints, no DNA, no eyewitnesses. Nothing."

On Monday Anthony Ferrari, who is convicted in the murder of Miami Subs founder, Gus Boulis, took the stand.

Tuesday afternoon, another former cellmate of Tundidor's, Seth Penalver, will testify on Tundidor's behalf. Penalver was convicted and then re-tried in the infamous Nickelodeon murders. He is now a free man.