Doctors take stand in professor murder trial
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A key defense witness took the stand Tuesday to try to convince the jury that the man accused of killing a Nova Southeastern professor did not have the strength to do it.
The murder trial of 45-year-old Randy Tundidor Sr. continued at the Broward County Courthouse Tuesday morning, as the defense put two doctors on the stand in an attempt to convince the jury the accused was physically incapable of murder.
Tundidor Sr. faces the death penalty if he is convicted of the murder of Joseph Morrissey. Last week, his own son and namesake, Randy Tundidor Jr., gave a vivid account of his father killing Morrissey, allegedly because Morrissey was planning to evict the Tundidors. "What did you see your dad do?" the prosecutor asked the younger Tundidor.
"Stabbed him" said Tundidor Jr., sitting on the witness stand.
"Where did he stab him?"
"In the stomach area."
"Did you see how many times he stabbed him?"
"I don't think so. I only saw twice."
"Why'd you only see twice?"
"I looked away. I didn't want to see that."
His bound wife said she heard her husband beg for his life from another room in their home. "He said, 'Please, Randy, you know me,'" recalled Linda Morrissey in testimony the day before the son took the stand.
On Tuesday, Tundidor Sr.'s defense attorneys brought out two doctors who testified, in the spring of 2010, the accused was receiving treatment for pain and respiratory issues.
The defense argues that his pain left him physically incapable of hacking Morrissey nine times with a 15-inch hunting knife on April 5, 2010. The defense presented two doctors who testified that Tundidor Sr. had a lot of aches and pains at that time and other problems, including asthmatic problems. "Pulmonary problems, asthmatic bronchitis," said Dr. Michael Alexander, Tundidor's Physician.
"Did you ever have to hospitalize him for his respiratory problems?" asked the defense attorney.
"Did you ever have to prescribe oxygen?"
Next, Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Alexander Bertot described treating Tundidor for knee, ankle, shoulder and back pain after he had fallen down some stairs, a month before the murder.
The prosecutor then tore into that testimony. "So, as you sit here today, can you tell me with any degree of medical certainty that in any way, shape or form, Mr. Tundidor was physically limited on the evening of April 5, 2010 from stabbing and murdering Joseph Morrissey, based in his physical condition as you saw?" the prosecutor asked Bertot. "Was there any physical limitation that you're aware, based on your treating of Mr. Tundidor that would have limited him from doing it?"
"Other than the limitations related to pain in the body parts that we've discussed," Bertot said.
The trial is now on hold until Monday. The defense hopes to find a missing defense witness. If they find her, she will testify. Then, Tundidor Sr. will decide whether or not he will take the stand to testify on his own behalf.
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