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Man Indicted in Murder of Dallas Lawyer Ira Tobolowsky

Crime, Featured

Steven Aubrey | Image by The Dallas Morning News

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A Dallas County grand jury has indicted a man accused of killing a well-known lawyer six years ago on one count of murder.

Ira Tobolowsky, a prominent lawyer from Dallas, was found dead in the garage of his North Dallas home after firefighters extinguished a fire in the house in May 2016. Investigators determined at the time that the fire was intentional and targeted at the lawyer.

According to the indictment served last Thursday, May 19, Steven Aubrey allegedly assaulted the 68-year-old and set him on fire, causing his death.

Aubrey, 61, was involved in a legal proceeding with Tobolowsky at the time he died. Tobolowsky was representing Aubrey’s mother in a legal dispute with her son. Aubrey’s lawyer in the case was Brian Vodicka, with whom Aubrey was reportedly in a relationship.

Tobolowsky filed a lawsuit against Aubrey and Vodicka, accusing Aubrey of trying to get him to stop representing his client (Aubrey’s mother) by using “intentional lies, fraud, defamatory statements and ‘dirty tricks.'” Tobolowsky also accused Vodicka of attacking his integrity.

Tobolowsky’s family accused Aubrey of being responsible for the lawyer’s death, but investigators said they did not have enough evidence to arrest him. Since then, the lawyer’s family has continued to search for answers. In 2019, they offered a $20,000 reward for anyone with helpful information about the killing.

Police evidence against Aubrey included burns seen on his hands a week after the murder. Detectives also said he knew details of the murder that had not been disclosed to the public.

Tobolowsky’s family also found holes in his fence, through which the garage can be seen from an alley. Police suspected that the holes were drilled by someone who wanted to spy on the lawyer.

A search of Aubrey’s home yielded the discovery of a drill, drill paints, propane torches, and paint products. As written in his arrest warrant, officers also allegedly found clothing with ignitable liquid residue on it.

Police additionally discovered a laptop with questionable search history. On the laptop, someone had searched Tobolowsky’s home address, the name of one of his children, and a synagogue he attended, as well as “alibi definition” and “burner phone.”

However, Aubrey was neither arrested nor charged with any crime.

In an interview with Dallas police, Aubrey told them he did not have a hand in Tobolowsky’s death. He also said he had never been to Tobolowsky’s home. Vodicka was also interviewed and told detectives the same thing.

Aubrey said that Tobolowsky’s murder could have been perpetrated by someone in business with the lawyer.

“Ira Tobolowsky had all kinds of business dealings. Somebody is unhappy about something,” he said.

A few months after the murder, Aubrey and Vodicka relocated to Florida, but police continued investigating them. On April 27 of this year, Aubrey was arrested in Florida on a capital murder charge.

It is unclear what evidence prompted Aubrey’s arrest nearly six years after the killing. Dallas PD has declined to provide clarification.

Aubrey is awaiting extradition to Texas. For now, he remains in custody at the Broward County jail in Florida.

It is unknown whether the accused has an attorney.     

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