As a lawyer, Alvin Entin was a fierce but fair advocate for the accused, an attorney for 50 years whose client list included rapper Snoop Dogg and reputed mobster Mario Fortunato.
As a political figure, he was a Broward Republican who ran for Congress in 1980, left a leadership position with the party in 2014, and decried the direction of the party under the leadership of President Donald Trump.
Mr. Entin, a father of six who rarely took a business trip without his wife, Lois, by his side, died Sunday night, weeks after fighting off COVID-19, days after surviving a minor stroke, and hours after posting his final social media message looking forward to Election Day. He was 75.
Mr. Entin’s nephew and law partner, Joshua Entin, said he was respected in and out of the courtroom for his professionalism and his ethics. “The praise didn’t just come from his clients,” he said. “He was adored in federal and state courts by the judges and even by his adversaries.”
One of Mr. Entin’s highest-profile local cases involved Fred Howard Kaytes, a Hollywood dentist who disappeared after his wife was found murdered in their bedroom in 2002. Kaytes was found, charged with the murder, tried, and, after just 40 minutes of deliberation, found not guilty. Entin told jurors of another suspect and the challenged the alleged confession obtained by police when Kaytes was caught.
“Juries loved this guy," said Mr. Entin’s longtime partner, Richard Della Fera. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lawyer who could think so fast on his feet. He always fought hard, but he always fought fair.”
He was recruited for the legal team that represented Calvin Broadus, better known as Snoop Dogg, when the rapper was accused of murder in Los Angeles in the 1990s.
He also represented Fortunato, who was convicted twice of a mob-related murder in the 1990s. Both convictions were overturned by appeals courts.
Mr. Entin also represented Jonathan Bleweiss, a Broward sheriff’s deputy accused of sexually exploiting immigrants. With reluctant witnesses and settled civil cases hampering the prosecution, Mr. Entin brokered a deal that sentenced Bleiweiss to five years in prison and kept him from being labeled a sex offender.
Former Broward Republican Party Chairman Kevin Tynan met Mr. Entin during the 1980 campaign.
“He was always liberal on social justice issues but fiscally conservative,” said Tynan. “We had our political disagreements, but we were always dear friends. He knew how to do that."
In Tamarac, where he lived, Mr. Entin spearheaded the recall drive that led to the resignation of City Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad in 2013.
But while he was known as a “lion of the defense bar” and a principled political moderate, Mr. Entin’s true love (outside his family) was for the theater. A longtime chairman of the Pembroke Pines Theater of the Performing Arts, Mr. Entin was a supporting player in dozens of performances, equally at ease on stage wearing judicial robes, pajamas, CEO suits and the royal robes of the Prince of Wales.
“You haven’t been frightened until you’ve seen Alvin in a kimono,” joked former Broward Republican Party Chairman Kevin Tynan, recalling Mr. Entin’s turn in the 2010 production of “The Mikado.”
“He had a joy being on stage that was palpable. It was his natural habitat. You could tell, that is where he wanted to be,” said Peter Librach, a co-star who directed Entin in a performance of Goer Vidal’s “The Best Man.”
He also served as a judge on the Carbonnell Awards, South Florida’s live theater honors.
“He had a capacity for love and an appetite for life like no one I’ve ever met,” said Mary Damiano, a close friend and administrator of the awards. “I’m sorry for people who didn’t get to know him. They missed out.”
Mr. Entin and his wife were married 46 years. He is also survived by his daughters, Amanda Sue and Marsha Kay, and sons, Keith, Seth, Edmund and Gary. He had five grandchildren. Funeral service arrangements are pending.
Staff writer Lisa J. Huriash contributed to this report.
Rafael Olmeda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 954-356-4457, or via Twitter @rolmeda
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