South Florida man accused of murdering former judge/father may have been motivated by money

South Florida James Scandirito

James Anthony “Jimmy” Scandirito, 49, is suspected in the death of his father, James “Skip” Scandirito, 75, a former Michigan judge who retired to Boca Raton. New findings suggest that the younger Scandirito, of Fort Lauderdale, may have been motivated by the prospect of financial gain.

On April 1, a friend of Skip Scandirito made many attempts to reach him. After checking his home and the hospitals, the friend reported him missing. Media reports say that his son reported him missing on April 1 also.

Police interviewed both the friend and Skip’s son Jimmy. Their reports noted inconsistencies in information given by the son. Blood evidence was discovered while investigators carried out a search warrant for Skip’s house that day.

Police say Jimmy told them that he and his father were together playing golf at Southwinds Golf Course in west Boca Raton on March 28. He also told them that he and his dad got drunk on tequila that afternoon while they celebrated the birthday of his late mother, who died in April 2017.

Upon searching the area, investigators located Skip’s body on April 4 in a four-foot deep hole on the site of the abandoned Ocean Breeze Golf Club, about one mile from his home. They also recovered a shovel from a nearby pond.

Police were unable to locate Jimmy, but he was nowhere to be found.

Authorities throughout the state and nation began searching for the man. When police in Alachua County spotted a car with stolen a license plate on Interstate 75 near Gainesville on Monday, they found Jimmy Scandirito and alerted the Boca Raton police.

Surveillance video showed Jimmy Scandirito stealing a licence plate from a South Florida Target parking lot. He had withdrawn $1,400 and on Monday, was driving his Toyota Prius when he was detained.

Evidence reveals that a possible motive for the murder may be that the son is listed as the sole beneficiary of his father’s estate. The inheritance is estimated to be in excess of  $800,000.

Police reports say that Jimmy tried several times to withdraw approximately $9,500 from one of Skip’s accounts by using forged documents, but was unsuccessful.

The elder Scandirito, a disgraced former Michigan judge, was fired from his position as a senior attorney with the Florida Department of Children and Families in 2003 when the agency learned of allegations that Scandirito used his standing as a Michigan district judge to help five women with traffic tickets, drunken driving arrests and a bad check charge in exchange for sex.

His law license was revoked for predatory sexual misconduct.

James Anthony “Jimmy” Scandirito is being held without bond in the Alachua County Jail in Gainesville, Florida. He is expected to be extradited to Palm Beach County as early as this week.

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