Criminal Justice

Man Accused of Murdering Rothstein Firm Partner Is Incompetent for Trial


The man accused of murdering a Florida attorney from a now-notorious law firm is incompetent to stand trial.

Tony Villegas was declared incompetent last month by Broward Circuit Judge Michael Gates, after the prosecution and defense team agreed on medical findings by two forensic psychologists, defense attorney Al Milian tells the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The 46-year-old defendant is accused of strangling partner Melissa Britt Lewis, 39, of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler on March 5, 2008 and dumping her body in a canal in Plantation. Lewis’ best friend was reportedly the suspect’s ex-wife, Debra Villegas, who served as chief operating officer of the Rothstein firm.

Debra Villegas told Plantation police that her ex had threatened to kill her, and the couple’s teenage son said his father had blamed Lewis for the break-up with his wife that preceeded Lewis’ death.

The former head of the RRA, Scott Rothstein, is now awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to criminal charges concerning his role in operating an alleged $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme and Debra Villegas was federally charged late last month in a related money-laundering conspiracy case.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Best Friend’s Ex Charged in Florida Attorney’s Murder”

ABAJournal.com: “CBS: Lawyer Stung Mafia Suspects to Get Witness Time in $1.2B Scheme”

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