By Rafael Olmeda
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — A jury convicted three men Tuesday of first-degree murder for ambushing and killing Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Tephford in 2006. Now they will fight for their lives as they face possible death sentences.
the men were friends on the street, that bond did not extend to the
courtroom, where each was unapologetic during the trial about trying to
pin the blame for Tephford’s murder on the other two.
And one defense lawyer warned the judge that Eloyn Ingraham, Bernard
Forbes and Andre Delancy will now turn on each other even more fiercely.
Forbes and Delancy each face the death penalty for the murder and
conspiracy to commit murder of a law enforcement officer. The same jury
that found them guilty will be called back to court in as little as six
weeks to review evidence that prosecutors say should be enough to
warrant the ultimate punishment, according to the judge.
lawyer Mitch Polay, who represents Delancy, said he intends to besmirch
the reputations of the other two defendants as he argues to spare his
own client’s life. “I don’t see how you can have a death penalty phase
and have them have a fair hearing,” he said.
Attorneys representing the other two defendants did not speak after Tuesday’s verdict.
Circuit Judge Paul Backman will bring the lawyers back into his
courtroom on Monday to work out a schedule. But that hearing is expected
to touch off a debate about how to proceed with the penalty phase of
Under normal circumstances, the same jury that
determines guilt also listens to the penalty phase, during which
prosecutors present “aggravating factors” to argue for execution while
the defense presents “mitigating factors” to argue for mercy.
jury is tasked with determining first whether the aggravating factors
are proved beyond a reasonable doubt, then whether they outweigh the
mitigating factors. A recommendation of death must be unanimous.
But Polay said it would not be fair to have the same jury watch the three defendants turn on each other.
Backman considered similar arguments before deciding the three defendants should be tried together.
to trial testimony, Ingraham was a passenger in a Toyota that Tephford
had pulled over late on Nov. 11, 2006, at the Versailles Gardens
condominium complex in Tamarac. Unwilling to give his real name to
Deputy Corey Carbocci, who had arrived for back up, Ingraham instead
used his cell phone to call Forbes and Delancy, who showed up minutes
later with guns drawn and opening fire.
The three then fled from
the scene, enlisting the help of Ingraham’s girlfriend and a neighbor
who said he helped them drive away before realizing they were involved
in a police shooting. Detectives caught up with the defendants the next
day at a Dania Beach motel.
Ingraham’s lawyer, Daniel Aaronson, argued that he called his friends but never expected them to shoot Tephford and Carbocci.
Delancy’s lawyer, H. Dohn Williams, argued there was one shooter and that it was probably Forbes.
lawyer, Hilliard Moldof, argued that Forbes was at worst guilty of
helping the other two escape, but that he did not participate in the
planning or the shooting.
But Broward State Attorney Mike Satz,
who handled the case personally, convinced the jury that each of the
three men knew what the other two were doing when they left Tephford
dead and Carbocci wounded.
The three men were also convicted of
Carbocci’s attempted murder. They face a possible life sentence for that
crime, but Backman is unlikely to sentence them until after the penalty
phases is complete.
Missing from the prosecution’s narrative of
the shooting was the issue of motive. Ingraham and Forbes had been
accused of participating in a kidnapping and robbery at a Tamarac
clothing store weeks before the Tephford shooting, but investigators did
not know about that incident or their alleged involvement until after
Ingraham and Forbes were acquitted of those crimes
in 2015, leaving prosecutors unable to cite the case as a possible
reason Ingraham would not have wanted to identify himself when he was
©2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)