Son Takes Plea, to Testify Against Dad in Murder Case

Randy Tundidor Jr. will avoid death penalty for his cooperation with prosecutors

By Todd Wright
|  Monday, Aug 22, 2011  |  Updated 1:55 PM EDT
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Randy Tundidor Jr. arraigned for murder in killing of Dr. Joseph Morrissey. Brother Shawn Tundidor speaks outside court. Family friend at home.

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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A man accused of helping his father kill their landlord in a rent dispute has taken a plea deal that will have him testify against his dad, attorneys said Monday.

Randy Tundidor Jr., 23, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2010 death of Joseph Morrissey, a Nova Southeastern University professor.

Prosecutors claim Tundidor Jr. and his 44-year-old father, Randy W. Tundidor Sr., planned revenge on Morrissey, who was the father's landlord. Morrissey, 46, was about to evict Tundidor Sr., a police report stated.

The Tundidors faced the death penalty if convicted on first-degree murder charges, but Tundidor Jr. now avoids that fate with the plea deal, Patrick Rastatter, his attorney said.

"Why should he go to prison for the rest of his life for the sins of his father?" Rastatter said.

A phone call to the attorney for Randy W. Tundidor Sr. was not immediately returned Monday.

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

Morrissey's wife, Linda, and the couple's 5-year-old son escaped, but Morrissey was found dead on the back porch, police said.

On Thursday, Tundidor Jr. changed his plea from not guilty and now awaits sentencing, which won't occur until after his father's trial, Rastatter said.

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