Boca lawyer accused of father’s murder found dead in jail cell

The Boca Raton lawyer accused of shooting his father in the head was found dead in his cell early Wednesday, according to his lawyer and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Brandon Labiner “died by apparent suicide by hanging himself in the jail,” said PBSO spokeswoman Teri Barbera. Deputies attempted CPR, she said, and Fire-Rescue pronounced him dead.

Labiner, an attorney, was suspected in the July death of Paul Labiner, a Boca Raton estate planning and probate lawyer, by his own family because of the growing rift between the two over money, according to court records.

Paul Labiner was shot in the head, upper chest, and twice in his lower body. He was found lying in blood, his car keys in his hand, in a breezeway near a parking garage at his Boca Raton law practice by a family member who had been looking for him. Brandon Labiner’s sister and her husband told authorities at the time that Paul Labiner said “he purchased a firearm and Brandon made comments that it would be better if (redacted) was dead,” court records show.

The pair both spoke with Brandon Labiner after the murder “and he told them he had nothing to do with what happened to (victim) and stated that he doesn’t even own a gun,” according to records.

Surveillance video showed a man riding up to Paul Labiner’s law office on a bicycle just after 3 p.m. July 1. The man carried a drawstring backpack. The man takes a box out of the backpack, then a gun out of the box. He then puts the gun on the ground and “begins to pace around the parking garage.” Forty minutes later he picks up an item from the ground, and hides near the wall, according to the arrest report released by Boca Raton Police.

A man believed to be the victim appears and there’s a scuffle. Police were summoned to the murder scene by 4:30 p.m.

Related Articles

A search warrant was executed on the suspect’s car, and police found a black drawstring backpack, a .9mm firearm magazine, multiple boxes of various brands of ammunition, a box for a gun, a gas can, a lighter, gloves, and a face mask. A trash can was burned in what “may have been used to attempt to destroy evidence,” according to the police report. They also found a poncho they said the suspect wore to the crime scene, which was captured on surveillance video by a nearby motel.

Paul Labiner had sued his son last year alleging Brandon had stolen $445,198.53 from him, using Paul Labiner’s trust that he had set up for his wife “as his own personal checkbook.” Paul Labiner said his son had been scammed by a “client” after accepting a foreign check and wiring $100,000 to the client without doing proper checks first, according to the lawsuit.

Brandon Labiner was “devastated” and “despondent” by the loss, according to the lawsuit, and tried to make up the funds by funneling money out of his father’s accounts into his own.

Brandon Labiner was indicted in October for his father’s murder, and was scheduled to be in court on Nov. 28.

His family told police he had been plagued by personal problems, including a pending divorce and the death of his only child, stillborn at 39 weeks.

Brandon Labiner’s attorney, criminal defense lawyer Valentin Rodriguez, said Wednesday that he received an email from the jail alerting him to Brandon Labiner’s death at 12:07 a.m., but he hadn’t been given any details. Brandon Labiner’s cell had glass see-through walls, he said.

“The year 2023 was the most tragic” for this family, Rodriguez said: “Father, son and grandson, all dead.”

Lisa J. Huriash can be reached at lhuriash@sunsentinel.com. Follow on X, formerly Twitter, @LisaHuriash