Funeral held for slain Plantation professor as murder suspects appear in court
PLANTATION — The relative who had been very vocal in proclaiming the innocence of his father and brother charged in a deadly home invasion has hired an attorney and Wednesday declined to speak with reporters.
Shawn Tundidor's attorney, John Weekes, said his client is not facing charges in the stabbing death of Nova Southeastern University professor Joseph Morrissey, the crime for which Tundidor's father and brother have been jailed.
Detectives say Tundidor, 19, told them under oath that his father confessed to him about being involved in the killing. Tundidor, though, has been critical of detectives and maintained that he did not give up his father.
Tundidor was in court Wednesday morning in support of his father, Randy Tundidor Sr., and brother, Randy Tundidor Jr., who appeared before Circuit Judge Cynthia Imperato for a status hearing.
Tundidor Sr. used an inhaler at least once inside the courtroom. His attorney, Joseph Pappacoda, has said the 43-year-old man has chronic bronchitis and has to take several medications.
Tundidor Jr. spoke softly to himself as he watched the proceedings.
The purpose of the hearing was to decide which judge would preside over the next appointment in the coming days. Circuit Judge Kenneth Gillespie will preside over the next hearing, which will involve bond.
Meanwhile, in Plantation, mourners bid their final farewells to Morrissey, 46, at his funeral.
Six men carried a brown casket topped with white flowers into St. Gregory's Catholic Church in Plantation shortly after 10 a.m.
Morrissey, an assistant pharmaceutical sciences professor, was later buried at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery in North Lauderdale.
He was killed on April 6 during a home invasion at his house. Morrissey's wife, Linda, and the couple's 5-year-old son managed to escape.
Tundidor Jr. and Tundidor Sr., who was renting a townhome from Morrissey and was involved in a security deposit dispute with him, are being held without bond at the Broward Main Jail.
Police point to that dispute as a motive for the home invasion.
Tundidor Jr. and Tundidor Sr. are charged with premeditated murder, armed home invasion, armed robbery, armed kidnapping and arson.