3 convicted in 2006 slaying of Fla. deputy
Broward County, Fla.
   
 
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The three men face possible death sentences after a jury convicted them of first-degree murder for ambushing and killing Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Tephford

By Rafael Olmeda
Sun Sentinel

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.

While 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.

Ingraham, 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.

Defense 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.

Broward 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 the case.

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.

The 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.

According 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.

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 their capture.

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 pulled over.

©2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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