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A Massachusetts man traveling to Florida to visit his father had his larynx stomped on and crushed in a fatal attack at a motel, allegedly by a convicted murderer he'd befriended earlier in the day.
Alphonso Washington, 59, was arrested and charged with the killing at the Rodeway Inn & Suites in Dania Beach, Florida earlier this month, The Miami Herald reported.
Although Broward County Sheriff's Office officials declined to identify the victim, the family of 59-year-old Massachusetts carpenter Charles Morgan revealed his identity to the South Florida Sun Herald.
“I want justice for my husband,” Jackie Morgan, Charles' wife, told the paper. “They snuffed his life out.”
Morgan traveled to south Florida to visit his father and was waylaid by the incoming Tropical Storm Isaias in early August, according to his family
While staying at the motel, he apparently befriended Washington, who was among a number of people without homes being put up at the motel as part of an effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
“My husband is so friendly and such a regular guy, and we live in a community where you say hello to somebody and they say hello back. They befriended each other," Jackie told the Sun Herald.
But the new friendship apparently soured quickly.
“There is video of them walking around together, being in the lobby, smoking together," a motel manager told the Sun Herald, noting video indicated Morgan let Washington into his room. Video from later in the day shows Washington leaving Morgan's room with a bag in his hands, according to the Associated Press.
Morgan was later found dead in his motel unit's bathroom. Washington is accused of killing Morgan while attempting to rob the man in his room.
Morgan's larynx was “crushed severely” in a way that it would only be caused by someone “using a shoe and stomping on a person's throat while they are on the ground," a medical report obtained by the Miami Herald stated.
Washington’s roommate later told investigators that on the day of Morgan's killing, Washington washed his clothes in the sink before leaving with an iPad the roommate had never seen before, the AP reported. When questioned by police, Washington denied killing Morgan.
Washington remains in custody and apparently hasn't retained a lawyer, according to a review of online jail records.
Washington has a previous conviction for murder in the killing of Patricia Benjamin, 27, who was found dead and stripped naked outside Homestead elementary school in 1985. Washington was convicted in 1987 and sentenced to up to 17 years in prison — but was released after only four years, in 1991, according to a state records check performed by the Sun Herald.
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