Family Says Goodbye to Murdered Professor

Funeral for Dr. Joseph Morrissey as suspects appear in court

By Brian Hamacher
|  Wednesday, Apr 14, 2010  |  Updated 11:15 AM EDT
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Professor's Murder: Son Charged

Nova Southeastern University

Dr. Joseph Morrissey

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Professor's Murder: Son Charged

Randy Tundidor Jr. arraigned for murder in killing of Dr. Joseph Morrissey. Brother Shawn Tundidor speaks outside court. Family friend at home.
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The father and son accused of murdering Dr. Joseph Morrissey made a court appearance Wednesday, the same day friends and family said their last goodbyes to the slain Nova Southeastern professor.

The Morrissey funeral, at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Plantation, was for only family and friends and was closed off to media.

Morrissey, 46, was a science professor at NSU who worked on cancer research. He is survived by wife Linda and their 5-year-old son.

Meanwhile, Randy Tundidor Sr. and son Randy Tundidor Jr. were together in a Broward courtroom Wednesday for a status hearing.

The Tundidors were arrested last week, charged with murdering Morrissey during a April 6 home invasion of the Morrissey family's Plantation home.

Tundidor Sr., 43, and Tundidor Jr., 21, have both been charged with first degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and arson, and are being held in the Broward County Jail.

Police said Tundidor Sr. was a tenant of Dr. Morrissey's who had been involved in a dispute involving a personal injury lawsuit. Just four days before the murder, Dr. Morrissey had sent Tundidor a letter stating that he was in default of security deposits.

Linda Morrissey told police that Tundidor Sr. may have known eviction proceedings were going to take place.

Just before midnight April 6, an armed intruder broke into the Morrissey home, forcing the couple to drive them to an ATM to withdraw $500. The robber or robbers tied the couple up, stabbed Dr. Morrissey, then set the house on fire.

Linda Morrissey and the couple's son escaped, but Dr. Morrissey was found dead on the back porch.

According to an arrest affidavit, Tundidor Sr. was enraged that Morrissey was going to evict him. "Joe the landlord f---ed with me, he f---ed with the wrong one and wants to put us on the streets," Randy Sr. told his other son, Shawn, according to the affidavit.

Shawn Tundidor told police his father had confessed to the murder, though he later denied the statements.

After his arrest, Linda Morrissey identified Randy Tundidor Jr. in a police lineup and was "85% sure" he was the robber who killed her husband. In addition, items from the Morrissey home were found at Tundidor Sr.'s business, including a possible murder weapon, a 15-inch knife.

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