Florida lawyer charged with murdering his father after ‘stealing $450k from family trust fund’

Brandon Scott Labiner, 34, is being held in jail without bond

Kelly Rissman
Wednesday 05 July 2023 20:51 BST

A Florida-based suspended attorney, who was sued by his father after being accused of stealing a hefty sum from his father’s trust fund, was charged on Sunday with premeditated first-degree murder with a firearm.

The suspect was not identified in the police report, but is reported to be Brandon Scott Labiner, 34. He remained in Palm Beach County Jail as of Monday without bond after his first appearance in court, according to a Boca Raton Police release.

The victim died at the scene at 4.30pm on Saturday after he “appeared to have been shot multiple times,” the police added. Although the victim was also not identified, he was found in a parking lot near 5499 N Federal Highway—which is also the address of the law office of Paul Labiner, the suspect’s father.

“Surveillance video was obtained from various locations along Federal Highway linking the person of the interest to the homicide,” police said.

Brandon Labiner’s attorney, criminal defense lawyer Valentin Rodriguez, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Monday that his client is “disputing” the charges. “He’s grieving his father’s death,” Rodriguez added.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel also obtained an arrest report, which detailed the scenes leading up to the shooting.

A vehicle belonging to the suspect drove toward the parking garage at 2pm on Saturday, and then, an hour later, a surveillance video showed someone riding on a bike toward Paul Labiner’s law office.

The bike rider, who carried a drawstring backpack, removed a box out of the backpack and then a gun from the box. He then placed the gun on the ground and began to “pace around the parking garage,” according to the report. Nearly 40 minutes later, the man picked up an item and then hid near a wall.

Another man, who is believed to be the victim, then got in a struggle with the first man before both moved out of view, the arrest report said. Then, the man with the gun fled the scene.

Boca Raton Police later found the person of interest at his own law office. When in the office, the report continued, an officer “observed a bicycle, in an open closet door, matching the description of the bicycle seen on the parking garage video surveillance.”

Inside the building, officers found trash that contained a gun cleaning kit, and a piece of paper with Valentin Rodriguez’s name on it— Brandon Labiner’s attorney. Officers also discovered a poncho, which, they said, the suspect wore to the crime scene, as captured by a nearby motel’s surveillance video.

Court records show that in June 2022, Paul Labiner first petitioned for his son to be removed as trustee from the family trust.

Brandon Labiner had been suspended from practicing law in Florida in April.

In a complaint filed in September 2022, Paul Labiner wrote a letter to his son, writing that he and his wife “conspired to transfer funds” from the trust “for the purpose of diverting the funds to your own collective use” and to his law firm. Brandon’s deposition was scheduled for 3 August, according to court filings.

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