Charges Flip and Flop in Tamarac Murder Case

Howard Jacobs is accused of the shooting death of Ronald Paul on Jan. 27.

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Howard Jacobs was charged with premeditated first-degree murder, then manslaughter, and now second-degree murder in the month since his arrest following the shooting death of a neighbor in Tamarac.

“It’s somewhat confusing,” said defense attorney Glenn Roderman, at Jacobs’ latest court appearance. “It’s very unusual, your honor.”

So was Jacobs’ initial interview with Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives.

According to the arrest report, Jacobs, 55, told them there were people in his condominium complex manufacturing the COVID-19 omicron virus and were going around chopping people’s hands off.

Detectives also interviewed Jacobs’ wife, who said her husband had mental health issues that were not diagnosed so he was not on any medication, the report stated.

Howard Jacobs

Ronald Paul was found in a stairwell of The Gate Condominiums at 6190 Woodlands Blvd. on Jan. 27.

Paul, 29, had just left for work about 9 a.m. when his girlfriend heard four to five gunshots.

His girlfriend – whose name was redacted in the arrest report – ran outside and found Paul bleeding. Then, she chased after the suspect who was dressed all in black, wearing a hoodie jacket.

She screamed, “Stop that car! My boyfriend was shot! Stop him!” as a red Toyota RAV4 drove off, the report stated.  

A witness lent her his cellphone to call 911. Paul was taken to Broward Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

His girlfriend was able to identify Jacobs as a neighbor, seen in surveillance videos from the security cameras located around the complex.

When questioned, investigators said Jacobs told them he heard the gunshots while smoking outside then got in his RAV4 and drove off.

Investigators recovered a black bag that had a drawstring, a hole and several spent 9mm shell casings inside the bag. They deduced the shooter fired the gun from inside the bag so it would catch the spent shell casings, but he apparently dropped the bag at the crime scene.

Crime lab tests revealed both Jacobs’ and Paul’s DNA were on the black bag.

Jacobs was arrested April 12 and charged. It was changed twice by his rescheduled court appearance on Sunday.

He remains in the Broward County Jail without bond.

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