Ira Tobolowsky was uncovered lifeless in his burned garage on Kenshire Lane in North Dallas.
DALLAS — The suspect in the killing of a popular Dallas law firm stalked the sufferer as a result of a hole in a fence at his dwelling and then attacked him in his garage, assaulting and burning him to dying, according to a police arrest warrant affidavit acquired by WFAA on Friday.
Steven Aubrey, 61, was indicted Wednesday on a demand of funds murder in the 2016 death of Ira Tobolowsky.
Tobolowsky, who was symbolizing Aubrey’s mom in a civil scenario in opposition to her son, was uncovered dead in his burned garage on Kenshire Lane in North Dallas.
Aubrey was originally named as a individual of desire by law enforcement. But for a long time, the scenario went with out an arrest.
Then, last thirty day period, on April 27, law enforcement announced that Aubrey, who now life in Florida, was arrested in Tobolowsky’s killing.
The affidavit launched by officials Friday pieced alongside one another the police investigation that led to Aubrey’s arrest.
First court battle
Aubrey arrived to know Tobolowsky during a court struggle with his mother, who eliminated Aubrey from her will in 2013, the affidavit mentioned.
Aubrey “was not undertaking well in the court proceedings and turned his anger to Mr. Tobolowsky,” Dallas law enforcement detective Brian Fillingim wrote in the affidavit.
Aubrey then started sending anti-Semitic email messages to Tobolowsky, who was Jewish, and also established “bogus internet pages with defamatory blogs” about Tobolowsky, the affidavit explained.
This led to Tobolowsky filing a defamation lawsuit versus Aubrey.
As the defamation lawsuit was pending, Aubrey and his partner moved from Austin to Dallas in February 2016, about three months in advance of Tobolowsky was killed.
The affidavit bundled a text concept Aubrey allegedly sent to somebody about going to Dallas: “I hate to move but that is where I can make the most income and deal with Ira.”
In April 2016, Aubrey and Tobolowsky attended a deposition in the defamation lawsuit, and the meeting “escalated” to the issue that Tobolowsky threatened to get in touch with law enforcement if Aubrey and his husband or wife failed to depart, the affidavit claimed.
About five weeks later on, on May possibly 13, 2016, Tobolowsky went to his garage all around 7:45 a.m. and walked to his motor vehicle.
As he bought close to his car, the suspect — identified by law enforcement as Aubrey — assaulted him, doused him in gasoline and set him on fireplace, the affidavit mentioned.
Tobolowsky’s loss of life was ruled a murder by the Dallas County Healthcare Examiner’s Business office, which concluded he died of thermal burns, smoke inhalation and blunt pressure trauma.
Tobolowsky had fractures on his cervical spinal column, remaining clavicle and ribs, in accordance to the professional medical examiner.
Dallas Fire-Rescue crews responded to Tobolowsky’s household and set out the hearth, getting Tobolowsky lifeless in close proximity to the driver door of his car. Also in the garage, in accordance to the affidavit, was a bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice that contained gasoline.
A person of interest
Aubrey “immediately became a particular person of interest in the situation,” according to the affidavit, but Aubrey declined to talk to investigators.
His wife or husband did agree to an job interview.
When requested by detectives if he drank cranberry juice, Aubrey’s spouse mentioned he only drank the Costco model, the affidavit claimed.
Aubrey’s wife or husband also advised investigators that he and Aubrey would not get a truthful trial thanks to media coverage, in accordance to the affidavit.
Although Aubrey declined to give an interview, he later signed consent varieties to research his car, cellphone and pcs.
On the very same day, Could 19, Tobolowsky’s relatives uncovered a gap drilled in their back fence. The hole was “painted more than to look like a all-natural knot in the wood,” the affidavit claimed, but it gave an alley check out of the Tobolowskys’ garage.
“It is thought that the gap was produced to view Mr. Tobolowsky and discover his every day plan,” detective Fillingim wrote in the affidavit.
Law enforcement then searched Aubrey’s two residences in Dallas and located a drill, drill bits and paint “thought to be applied in developing the hole in the Tobolowsky fence,” the affidavit reported.
Police also searched a laptop computer at Aubrey’s property. The laptop contained Google Maps lookups for Tobolowsky’s deal with, his legislation business and his synagogue, the affidavit claimed.
The affidavit also experienced Google queries for “Walmart tracfone,” “burner mobile phone,” and “alibi definition,” according to the affidavit.
At yet another apartment owned by Aubrey, detectives discovered propane torches and clothing that contained “ignitable liquid residue,” Fillingim wrote in the affidavit.
New glimpse at the case
Though Aubrey was thought of a human being of interest, no arrests had been created, and Aubrey and his wife or husband moved to Florida later on that yr.
In 2017, a D Magazine tale revisited the scenario and uncovered that Tobolowsky’s son experienced obtained an nameless letter from somebody proclaiming they committed the murder.
Police acquired that the author of the letter was a pal of Aubrey’s, but proof proved the pal was not associated in the killing, in accordance to the affidavit.
Fillingim obtained assigned to the case in July 2021. He started reviewing case shots initially taken at Aubrey’s condominium in 2016.
In the pics, Fillingim pointed out a guide on Aubrey’s nightstand titled “Potential Crimes, which had “at least 4 references to cell telephone GPS monitoring and spots,” he wrote in the affidavit.
Fillingim concluded that Aubrey utilised the guide “to educate himself and flip off various applications that could monitor his movements or simply just still left his cellphone at dwelling in the course of the fee of the murder.”
Fillingim also recognized a photograph of Aubrey’s pantry, which held a bottle of cranberry juice from Kroger, differing from his spouse’s declare that he only drank Costco brand juice.
In the affidavit, Fillingim also bundled a text message from Aubrey’s buddy from the working day Tobolowsky died. The textual content told Aubrey that he hoped he had his alibi prepared, the affidavit said.
Aubrey experienced arrived at out to a different pal for lawful information, according to law enforcement searches of Aubrey’s mobile phone and Gmail account.
When Aubrey shared a news tale about Tobolowsky’s loss of life to the good friend, the close friend responded that Aubrey “took it to a whole nother amount when ya dun threw gas on his a– and torched the mother——,” the affidavit mentioned.
One more conversation from the exact good friend explained to Aubrey to “keep me abreast of developments, and you should not kill anybody…yet again,” the affidavit claimed.
Fillingim also observed an email exchange involving Aubrey and the reporter for D Journal in which Aubrey referenced the peak of the gap in Tobolowsky’s fence, the affidavit mentioned.
To that stage, according to the affidavit, the hole had not been referenced publicly.
Fillingim also reviewed Aubrey’s alibi. In accordance to the affidavit, Aubrey claimed he woke up at his own apartment close to 8 a.m. on the day of the killing Tobolowsky was killed about 7:45 a.m.
Aubrey claimed he was at his condominium until eventually all over 9 a.m. and then went grocery purchasing.
But when Fillingim checked Oncor electricity data at Aubrey’s business enterprise apartment, the place law enforcement afterwards seized propane torches, there was slight power surge around 6 a.m., the affidavit mentioned. The detective pointed out a larger energy surge at the condominium all over 7:45-8 a.m.
When Fillingim checked with the apartment’s maintenance personnel, he didn’t see any paperwork about function remaining done
“The only rationalization is that [Aubrey], himself, entered the [business] apartment” on the working day of Tobolowsky’s killing, the affidavit explained.
Fillingim afterwards interviewed Ed Nordskog, a fire death scene professional, about a burn on Tobolowsky’s thigh that “does not match the fuel packages and hearth development at the criminal offense scene,” the affidavit explained.
Nordskog said the thigh burn up was far more dependable “with effects of a torch on the pores and skin,” Fillingim wrote.
In his affidavit, Fillingim observed that “not all circumstance specifics have been included in this report.”
But the detective concluded that Aubrey waited in Tobolowsky’s alley, “stalking him till the opportune time to act on his approach of attack.”
Police reported they had adequate evidence to arrest Aubrey this April.
Aubrey has not been extradited to Texas still. He stays in the Broward County Jail in Florida, in which his bail is established at $2 million.