Heartbreaking Florida Crime: Palm Bay Man Confesses to Killing Dad by Pushing Him Down the Stairs

July 18, 2012 by David S. Seltzer

The journey of a Florida criminal defendant can be a rough one, both logistically and psychologically.

If you or a close friend or a family member stands accused of a crime in Miami, like burglary, robbery, assault, or even homicide, you likely understand the visceral fear and other distressing emotions that arise when you contemplate your future.

In that context, let’s consider the story of 38-year-old Michael Whilby of Palm Bay, FL, who confessed last Tuesday to police that he killed his father back in 2008… by shoving him down a flight of stairs.

Authorities have not yet said why Whilby confessed, but according to a lieutenant in Connecticut (where the crime occurred) “[Whilby] sought out police in Florida and told them that he had killed his father.”

Whilby’s father, Evans Whilby, passed away in 2008 at the age of 66. At the time, the younger Whilby reported the death and told police that he went to his dad’s home, after the dad had failed to show up for a Las Vegas business meeting. The police said “the evidence at the scene and the lack of anyone confessing led us to no other conclusion [than to believe Michael’s story].”

The motive for the killing remains unknown. Whilby, meanwhile, has been extradited from Florida to Connecticut; he's being held on a $1 million bond to face his arraignment.

An Emotionally Confusing Case: Like So Many Florida Criminal Cases

It seems pretty clear that Whilby’s case is fraught with emotional and psychological implications. Strict Freudians would likely be tempted to reference the legend of Oedipus, the Greek figure, who killed his father and had sexual relations with his mother. But without knowing the details of the situation, it’s really not appropriate to play armchair psychologist.

The case does, however, illustrate how complex Miami criminal cases can be. Even cases that seem relatively “cut and dry” when you see them in the news often hide a lot of “stuff” going on underneath. It’s important to recognize this inherent complexity, since that complexity can influence your legal strategy.

You must prepare effectively to face down and thwart what the prosecutors might throw your way. That might mean surfacing painful memories -- getting really honest about what drove you to commit the crime or about what put you at risk for getting arrested in the first place.

No matter what you did – or what police allege you did – the time to get thorough help is now. Call the Seltzer Law, PA team at any time of day or night at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (888-843-3333) for a free and confidential evaluation of your criminal defense case.