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CASE DROPPED AGAINST WOMAN ACCUSED OF TRYING TO KILL FATHER, 88, IN HOSPICE

“The arrest of my client was an abomination from the start. To be deprived of her liberty and taken to jail and strip-searched without a detailed police investigation, for merely visiting her dying Dad in Hospice is the real crime,” he said. “She could not go to her own Dad’s funeral because she was locked up. The State Attorney did the right thing and dropped this case. We will now be filing suit against the police department for false arrest.”

– Attorney Ken Padowitz

Chris Gothner

 Local 10 News team

Published: 

Ken Padowitz Criminal Defense Attorney

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward prosecutors have declined to pursue the attempted murder case against a Deerfield Beach woman deputies accused of trying to kill her terminally ill 88-year-old father, Local 10 News has learned.

Lori Lee Brucker, 66, had also been charged with domestic battery by strangulation and battery on a person over 65. Those charges were dropped as well.

The wheelchair-bound woman had been accused of trying to choke her father to death in his hospital bed at Broward Health North, located at 201 E. Sample Road, on Feb. 16.

A nurse had told Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives that she walked into the man’s hospital room and saw Brucker covering her father’s mouth with one hand “and choking him with the other hand,” an arrest report stated.

He died of natural causes two days later, the Broward Medical Examiner’s Office determined.

Soon after her arrest, Brucker’s attorney, Ken Padowitz, blasted the case as “very flimsy” and said he was confident that his client would prevail in court.

In a May 10 closeout letter outlining the state’s decision to decline the case, Broward Assistant State Attorney Marcie Zaccor stated that there was “no reasonable likelihood of conviction,” with prosecutors unable to meet their burden of proof for the charges.

She summarized the decision to not pursue the charge domestic battery by strangulation charge as follows:

“Based on the contradictory testimony of the parties inside the victim’s hospital room; the alternative explanation as to why the victim’s vitals could be elevated, thus causing his agitation; the lack of visible injuries to the victim after the incident; the defendant’s lack of motive to harm her father, (she knew he was terminally ill with only a few days left to live); the testimony of her brother and boyfriend that she loved her father and would never harm him; and finally the Medical Examiner’s report stating there was ‘no pathological evidence that smothering or any other trauma contributed to his death,’ there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction to charge the defendant with Domestic Battery by Strangulation.”

Broward Assistant State Attorney Marcie Zaccor

Zaccor further noted that an attempted murder charge relied on the state being able to prove the underlying crime of domestic battery by strangulation.

“As stated above, the State cannot meet its burden of proof to charge the underlying crime, thus not even meeting the second prong to consider the charge of Attempted Felony Murder,” Zaccor wrote.

In a statement to Local 10 News on Thursday, Padowitz said Brucker plans to sue BSO.

“The arrest of my client was an abomination from the start. To be deprived of her liberty and taken to jail and strip-searched without a detailed police investigation, for merely visiting her dying Dad in Hospice is the real crime,” he said. “She could not go to her own Dad’s funeral because she was locked up. The State Attorney did the right thing and dropped this case. We will now be filing suit against the police department for false arrest.”

A BSO spokesperson said Thursday afternoon that the agency doesn’t comment on potential litigation.

2024-05-24T15:52:07+00:00

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