“Dateline NBC” Reports on Case of Joseph Morrissey, the NSU Professor Murdered in Plantation

Morrissey, a science professor at NSU, was stabbed to death in his Plantation home on April 6, 2010

Wednesday’s "Dateline NBC" episode tells the local story of Dr. Joseph Morrissey, who was stabbed to death in his Plantation home.

But when detectives arrived to the scene on April 6, 2010, they wondered why his wife and son were left unharmed.

Morrissey was a science professor at Nova Southeastern University who worked on cancer research.

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

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

Police later arrested Randy Tundidor Sr. and son Randy Tundidor Jr., and charged them with murdering Joe Morrissey during the home invasion.

Police said Tundidor Sr. was a tenant of Joe 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.

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.

The father and son initially pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges.

The elder Tundidor was ultimately convicted of first-degree murder, attempted murder, armed burglary, armed robbery, kidnapping and arson charges.

His son was sentenced to 40 years behind bars for his role in the murder. He had previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as part of a plea deal with prosecutors to avoid the death penalty. As part of the plea deal, he testified against his father.

Josh Mankiewicz of "Dateline NBC" reports on the South Florida case involving the two families on NBC 6 at 8 p.m.

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