Ira Tobolowsky was discovered useless in his burned garage on Kenshire Lane in North Dallas.
DALLAS — The suspect in the killing of a prominent Dallas attorney stalked the sufferer via a gap in a fence at his residence and then attacked him in his garage, assaulting and burning him to death, in accordance to a law enforcement arrest warrant affidavit attained by WFAA on Friday.
Steven Aubrey, 61, was indicted Wednesday on a cost of money murder in the 2016 loss of life of Ira Tobolowsky.
Tobolowsky, who was representing Aubrey’s mother in a civil case towards her son, was observed useless in his burned garage on Kenshire Lane in North Dallas.
Aubrey was initially named as a person of interest by police. But for many years, the case went with no an arrest.
Then, last thirty day period, on April 27, police announced that Aubrey, who now life in Florida, was arrested in Tobolowsky’s killing.
The affidavit introduced by officers Friday pieced collectively the police investigation that led to Aubrey’s arrest.
Initial courtroom battle
Aubrey arrived to know Tobolowsky all through a courtroom struggle with his mom, who taken out Aubrey from her will in 2013, the affidavit said.
Aubrey “was not accomplishing very well in the court proceedings and turned his anger in direction of Mr. Tobolowsky,” Dallas police detective Brian Fillingim wrote in the affidavit.
Aubrey then began sending anti-Semitic e-mails to Tobolowsky, who was Jewish, and also produced “bogus internet webpages with defamatory blogs” about Tobolowsky, the affidavit reported.
This led to Tobolowsky filing a defamation lawsuit towards Aubrey.
As the defamation lawsuit was pending, Aubrey and his wife or husband moved from Austin to Dallas in February 2016, about a few months before Tobolowsky was killed.
The affidavit involved a text message Aubrey allegedly sent to anyone about shifting to Dallas: “I despise to shift but which is where by I can make the most funds and deal with Ira.”
In April 2016, Aubrey and Tobolowsky attended a deposition in the defamation lawsuit, and the assembly “escalated” to the point that Tobolowsky threatened to phone law enforcement if Aubrey and his wife or husband didn’t leave, the affidavit explained.
About five weeks afterwards, on May possibly 13, 2016, Tobolowsky went to his garage about 7:45 a.m. and walked to his car.
As he bought close to his motor vehicle, the suspect — identified by law enforcement as Aubrey — assaulted him, doused him in gasoline and set him on fire, the affidavit claimed.
Tobolowsky’s death was ruled a homicide by the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Workplace, which concluded he died of thermal burns, smoke inhalation and blunt pressure trauma.
Tobolowsky had fractures on his cervical spinal column, still left clavicle and ribs, according to the health-related examiner.
Dallas Hearth-Rescue crews responded to Tobolowsky’s house and put out the hearth, obtaining Tobolowsky dead in the vicinity of the driver doorway of his car. Also in the garage, according to the affidavit, was a bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice that contained gasoline.
A individual of interest
Aubrey “swiftly turned a person of fascination in the situation,” in accordance to the affidavit, but Aubrey declined to talk to investigators.
His partner did agree to an interview.
When questioned by detectives if he drank cranberry juice, Aubrey’s husband or wife mentioned he only drank the Costco brand, the affidavit mentioned.
Aubrey’s husband or wife also advised investigators that he and Aubrey would not get a honest demo due to media coverage, in accordance to the affidavit.
While Aubrey declined to give an interview, he afterwards signed consent varieties to look for his car or truck, cellular phone and personal computers.
On the same working day, Could 19, Tobolowsky’s loved ones identified a gap drilled in their again fence. The gap was “painted in excess of to seem like a purely natural knot in the wooden,” the affidavit said, but it gave an alley look at of the Tobolowskys’ garage.
“It is thought that the gap was made to check out Mr. Tobolowsky and master his daily routine,” detective Fillingim wrote in the affidavit.
Law enforcement then searched Aubrey’s two residences in Dallas and found a drill, drill bits and paint “thought to be utilized in developing the hole in the Tobolowsky fence,” the affidavit reported.
Police also searched a laptop computer at Aubrey’s home. The laptop contained Google Maps searches for Tobolowsky’s handle, his law firm and his synagogue, the affidavit mentioned.
The affidavit also experienced Google lookups for “Walmart tracfone,” “burner telephone,” and “alibi definition,” according to the affidavit.
At one more condominium owned by Aubrey, detectives located propane torches and garments that contained “ignitable liquid residue,” Fillingim wrote in the affidavit.
New seem at the situation
Although Aubrey was deemed a person of fascination, no arrests had been created, and Aubrey and his husband or wife moved to Florida afterwards that calendar year.
In 2017, a D Magazine story revisited the situation and unveiled that Tobolowsky’s son experienced been given an nameless letter from an individual boasting they fully commited the murder.
Police realized that the author of the letter was a friend of Aubrey’s, but proof proved the mate was not associated in the killing, according to the affidavit.
Fillingim bought assigned to the scenario in July 2021. He commenced examining scenario pics initially taken at Aubrey’s condominium in 2016.
In the pictures, Fillingim observed a e book on Aubrey’s nightstand titled “Upcoming Crimes, which experienced “at least four references to mobile cellular phone GPS tracking and spots,” he wrote in the affidavit.
Fillingim concluded that Aubrey utilized the guide “to educate himself and transform off various applications that could observe his actions or simply still left his telephone at household through the fee of the murder.”
Fillingim also recognized a image of Aubrey’s pantry, which held a bottle of cranberry juice from Kroger, differing from his spouse’s declare that he only drank Costco manufacturer juice.
In the affidavit, Fillingim also integrated a textual content information from Aubrey’s pal from the day Tobolowsky died. The text informed Aubrey that he hoped he had his alibi completely ready, the affidavit reported.
Aubrey had attained out to an additional buddy for legal information, in accordance to police searches of Aubrey’s cellphone and Gmail account.
When Aubrey shared a information tale about Tobolowsky’s dying to the buddy, the good friend responded that Aubrey “took it to a total nother level when ya dun threw fuel on his a– and torched the mother——,” the affidavit mentioned.
Another conversation from the similar pal advised Aubrey to “maintain me abreast of developments, and really don’t get rid of any one…yet again,” the affidavit reported.
Fillingim also discovered an e-mail trade involving Aubrey and the reporter for D Magazine in which Aubrey referenced the height of the hole in Tobolowsky’s fence, the affidavit stated.
To that position, according to the affidavit, the gap experienced not been referenced publicly.
Fillingim also reviewed Aubrey’s alibi. In accordance to the affidavit, Aubrey claimed he woke up at his own apartment all around 8 a.m. on the day of the killing Tobolowsky was killed around 7:45 a.m.
Aubrey claimed he was at his condominium till all-around 9 a.m. and then went grocery shopping.
But when Fillingim checked Oncor electrical power records at Aubrey’s enterprise condominium, where police afterwards seized propane torches, there was slight ability surge about 6 a.m., the affidavit reported. The detective observed a more substantial electrical power surge at the apartment all around 7:45-8 a.m.
When Fillingim checked with the apartment’s maintenance personnel, he did not see any paperwork about get the job done currently being done
“The only rationalization is that [Aubrey], himself, entered the [business] condominium” on the working day of Tobolowsky’s killing, the affidavit claimed.
Fillingim afterwards interviewed Ed Nordskog, a hearth demise scene professional, about a burn off on Tobolowsky’s thigh that “does not match the gas deals and fire progression at the crime scene,” the affidavit mentioned.
Nordskog said the thigh burn up was much more steady “with outcomes of a torch on the skin,” Fillingim wrote.
In his affidavit, Fillingim famous that “not all case particulars have been involved in this report.”
But the detective concluded that Aubrey waited in Tobolowsky’s alley, “stalking him right until the opportune time to act on his approach of assault.”
Police mentioned they had sufficient evidence to arrest Aubrey this April.
Aubrey has not been extradited to Texas nevertheless. He remains in the Broward County Jail in Florida, exactly where his bail is established at $2 million.