Crime News

Dallas police make arrest in 2016 murder of lawyer Ira Tobolowsky

Dallas police make arrest in 2016 murder of lawyer Ira Tobolowsky

Ira Tobolowsky
Ira Tobolowsky with family members. YouTube

Dallas Police have made an arrest in a high-profile homicide that took place in 2016, when highly respected civil lawyer Ira Tobolowsky was set on fire and killed.

According to a release, Dallas Homicide arrested Steven Aubrey, 61, and charged him with Capital Murder in Tobolowsky's death. Their search warrant has been posted online.

Aubrey was taken into custody in Oakland Park, Florida, and will be extradited back to Texas.

Before Tobolowsky died, he was in a heated court battle with Aubrey and his partner Brian Vodicka. Aubrey, dubbed "a disgruntled massage therapist" by nonprofit website Forward, had sued his mother and brother over a family trust, and Tobolowsky represented Aubrey's mother.

The homicide took place on May 13, 2016, when Tobolowsky was headed to his office. An investigation determined that he'd entered his garage and was near his car when Aubrey assaulted him, poured gasoline on him, then set him on fire, causing his death.

The Medical Examiner ruled Tobolowsky’s death a homicide as a result of thermal burns, smoke inhalation, and blunt force trauma.

Aubrey was questioned and was a person of interest in the case, but the investigation moved slowly and eventually stalled. The murder was kept on the frontburner by his sons Jonathan and Michael Tobolowsky, who created a "war room" in pursuit of justice for their father.

Numerous lawsuits transpired including a defamation lawsuit filed by Tobolowsky's family alleging that Aubrey used "intentional lies, fraud, defamatory statements and dirty tricks" in an attempt to deter him from representing Aubrey's mother.

According to the lawsuit, Aubrey and Vodicka sent letters to the court calling Tobolowsky a fraudster, claimed he'd joined the Islamic State, and created a blog accusing him of mortgage fraud. Tobolowsky's family won that suit and was awarded $5.5 million.

Aubrey and Vodicka also also sued A. H. Belo Corporation over coverage of the case by the Dallas Morning News, but dropped the lawsuit in 2017.

The DPD release says that, over the last four years, homicide detectives have conducted interviews and gathered evidence in the case.