BOCA RATON, FL – On March 13, Tilus Lebrun, a 42 year-old Haitian national, fatally stabbed his employer, Dimitrios Karaloukas, a 61 year-old Greek-American restaurateur who owned Jimmy the Greek Taverna in Boca Raton. Apprehended moments later in the street by police, Lebrun, still holding the murder weapon, confessed that he did it, apparently, as he said, because he was angry at Karaloukas for posting a picture of him on the Internet.
The National Herald was first to report, based on good authority, that Lebrun is an illegal alien (“Anyone Care if Greek’s Killer is an Illegal Alien?” Apr. 5). But now, there is a new element to the story: Lebrun will not be going to jail.
On September 24, the Palm Beach County Criminal Court declared that Lebrun is not mentally competent to stand trial.
The Florida law regarding mental competence to proceed (Statute 916.12) states that “a defendant is incompetent to proceed…if the defendant does not have sufficient present ability to consult with her or his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding or if the defendant has no rational, as well as factual, understanding of the proceedings against her or him.” Court-appointed experts may recommend treatment that they may believe would cause improvement and thereby render the defendant competent to stand trial at a future date. Therefore, although at this point it does not appear that Lebrun will go to jail for killing Karaloukas, that evaluation may be overturned at a later date.
A “status check” on Lebrun’s case is set for March.
Besides TNH, the West Boca News, a local news operation run by criminal defense attorney Warren Redlich, continues to report on this story. When the murder first happened, statewide and national media outlets wrote about it. But now, several months later, it no longer garners national attention, but West Boca News covers it because it happened at Karaloukas’ Taverna, a local restaurant, and TNH continues to follow the developments with interest, as the victim was Greek-American.
“I’m not surprised he was found incompetent,” Redlich told TNH. “Most crime in the United States involves mental illness. As an attorney I see that all the time.” To some extent, Redlich has a personal connection to the case: “I’ve eaten at the restaurant several times. Nice people,” he said, referring to Karaloukas’ family-run establishment, in which Lebrun worked.