LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Fancy cars. Missing money. A Cape Coral father found lying in a pool of blood. Is greed the motive for murder? The half-brother of an accused Cape Coral teen thinks it is.
Baron Verzi is charged with stabbing his 69 year old father last December.
John Verzi says it all revolves around a family trust. He says his half brother Baron stashed cash and knew about a life insurance policy worth thousands. He also says Baron faked mental illness in hopes of duping authorities.
Family photos obtained exclusively by WINK News show father and son: victim and suspect together in happier times. John Verzi is Baron's half-brother. Thomas Verzi Sr. was their father.
"Baron did things to prevent my dad from defending himself," said John Verzi. Verzi says Baron stabbed their father to death inside their Cape Coral home hoping to claim expensive cars, a house, and thousands of dollars in cash.
The cars, he says, were in Baron's name, but their father was running low on cash and thinking about selling them.
He says Baron killed before his 18th birthday in hopes of getting off easy. "We think it's all financially motivated. If he'd been tried as a juvenile he could of been out when he was 21 and essentially gotten away with murder," Verzi said.
Prosecutors charged Baron as an adult with second degree murder.
His half-brother also says Baron knew about a $150,000 life insurance policy on their father. "The Verzi family believes Baron is very calculated," said Verzi.
He say Baron forged a $50,000 check, and also took almost $50,000 of the families cash and stashed it perhaps in a vehicle."We believe there was money stashed in the Tahoe," said Verzi. "Some of the lawyers try to say Baron didn't know what he was doing because he was a minor. He was one month away from his 18th birthday. He was 17," said Verzi.
Baron's attorney Michael Rosen says he doesn't want to comment on the case and will do all of his talking in court to defend his client. A tentative trial is set for December.
At this time, Verzi says the life insurance policy remains in limbo pending the outcome of the trial.