Some murders defy explanation due in large part to their brutality and their senselessness. One such murder involved the savage murder of a 75-year-old woman in her own home. Police say that Jorge Luis Dupre Lachazo struck the woman over the head with a mallet and then set her on fire. According to the charges, Lachazo and a coworker were delivering appliances to the woman’s home.
Rescue workers were able to get the woman to the hospital, but she died three days later from severe head trauma and second- and third-degree burns over her body.
Victim Ordered Appliances from Best Buy
In what’s sure to be a major liability for Best Buy and the firm with whom they contract to make deliveries, the victim had ordered appliances when Lachazo seemed to go off. While it’s unclear what specifically set Lachazo off, the results were terrifying. Since employers are vicariously liable for the conduct of their employees while they’re on the job, Best Buy and X.M. Delivery may be held liable by the family for the death of the victim. The woman had two children and six grandchildren.
Lachazo Had a Criminal History
According to police, Lachazo had a criminal history but not for violent crime. Lachazo stole a cell phone on video camera from a local convenience store. Since it was his first criminal offense, he qualified for a pretrial diversion. Other than a massive amount of speeding tickets, Lachazo had no other run-ins with the law making the entire thing all the more puzzling.
If the victim’s family wants to pursue a wrongful death against either company that employed Lachazo’s services, their case won’t be very difficult to make. They need only show that an employment relationship existed between the company and Lachazo and the violent death occurred while he was working for the company. However, it could become complicated if Lachazo was a general contractor instead of an employee. This will likely insulate Best Buy from liability since they are not responsible for the hiring or conducting background checks on the companies that they contract with.
Then the second question that must be answered is whether or not Lachazo was an employee of X.M. Delivery or an independent contractor. In some cases, companies can be held liable for the conduct of an independent contractor.
As for the criminal case against Lachazo, there doesn’t appear to be much of a defense. Lachazo can plead insanity but would likely be remanded to the care of a forensic psychiatric facility which is not much better than going to prison. Additionally, Lachazo could be held indefinitely or at least until the psychiatric facility believes he is no longer a threat to himself or others.
Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney in West Palm Beach
If you’ve been charged with a crime, the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at the Skier Law Firm, P.A. can help ensure the prosecution proves its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Talk to us today for more information.