FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – It’s been a morning of dramatic testimony from the key witness in the brutal murder trial of NSU professor Joseph Morrissey.
Randy Tundidor Jr. took the stand to testify against his father, Randy Tundidor Sr. Both men are charged in the crime but Tundidor Jr. agreed to testify against his dad as part of a plea deal.
Tundidor Jr. laid out his side of the story to the jury Wednesday morning.
He said it all started two years ago when his dad called him and asked if he knew anyone that could scare his landlord because he was being evicted and Morrissey was destroying the family. Tundidor Jr. said he would do it.
Tundidor Jr. testified that he tied up Morrissey and his wife Linda, spoke to his father by walkie-talkie, and was told to search for anything of value. He also said he had on latex gloves and had a gun but told his dad he wasn’t going to shoot anybody.
Tundidor Jr. agreed to testify for the prosecution in exchange for the death penalty being taken off the table.
When asked why they used walkie-talkies, he said it was because his dad told him “If they used a cell phone, they could be tracked.” He also said he covered the Morrissey’s heads with towels, “because he didn’t want them to see his dad because he knew they would recognize him.”
During the horrific crime, the Morrissey’s were forced at gunpoint to drive to an ATM and withdraw cash.
“It was dad’s idea to get money from the ATM,” said Tundidor Jr. He went on to describe the trip and said Linda withdrew the cash because her husband was driving. Linda then gave the cash to Junior.
When they arrived back at the Morrissey’s Plantation home, he said he tied them up again with plastic ties and covered their heads with towels. He claimed his dad tried to find more stuff to steal. They found two laptops and he gave his dad the $500 cash from the ATM.
At this point, with the Morrissey’s tied up in the bedroom, Tundidor Jr. said he wanted to leave. His dad refused and reportedly said Joseph Morrissey “has to die.”
The younger Tundidor claimed that he told his dad he didn’t want to be involved in that but his dad ordered him to retrieve Mr. Morrissey from the bedroom.
“My dad grabbed him and threw him on the couch. Dad had the gun to his head. I told my dad to calm down but he gave me a ‘shut up’ look. If I could have stopped it I would have but it’s hard to stop someone with a gun in his hand,” testified Tundidor Jr.
He went on, “The gun jammed and I started looking at the gun. When I looked up, I saw he had a knife in his hand and was walking toward the couch. He stabbed him in the stomach area. I only saw twice, I couldn’t look,” said Tundidor Jr.
“Mr. Morrissey was begging for his life. ‘Please don’t kill me, I have kids.’ I was in shock.”
Tundidor Jr. said his father didn’t stop there.
“Mr. Morrissey eventually stood up. He had blood on his hands. Dad swung the knife into his neck and head area. He fell down. Then dad walked to me and gave me the knife and told me to put it away.”
After that, they duo went into the garage and Tundidor Sr. pointed to a gas tank, said the son.
“Dad told me I had to kill Mrs. Morrissey and her son. I told him ‘no’ but he got agitated. He was mad I wasn’t going along with it.”
Junior explained it was his dad who poured gas around the living room and kitchen and lit it on fire.
Linda Morrissey and her son managed to escape the house.
Attorneys for Tundidor Sr. said there is no physical evidence linking him to the crime and Linda Morrissey never identified Tundidor Sr. as the second assailant. On Tuesday, she clearly identified Tundidor Jr. as one of the men involved in the crime.
Tundidor Jr. been labeled a drug addict who was desperate for money by his father’s defense team.
Under the deal with prosecutors, Tundidor Jr., plead guilty to second degree murder. He could get life in prison.
Tundidor Sr., charged with murder, armed robbery, armed kidnapping, home invasion robbery and arson, could be sent to death row if convicted.