Court Cases

Search Of Lehigh Acres Home Challenged In Killing Case by Pat Gillespie - News Press

The attorney for a Lehigh Acres man accused of killing his wife believes Lee County sheriff’s detectives improperly searched the man’s house for evidence by misleading the judge who signed a search warrant. Over two days, attorneys argued whether evidence gathered at Mohammed Javed’s Lehigh Acres house should be shown to his jury. He is scheduled for trial Nov. 2 on a charge of first-degree murder and faces life in prison if convicted. He was arrested in upstate New York after detectives put him under electronic surveillance. Fort Myers attorney David Brener contends when detectives met with Javed in February 2008, it was in the context of a missing persons case for his wife, Susan Vicars, 26. He said Javed, 29, had previously allowed detectives into the house without a search warrant.

He argued Tuesday and Wednesday detectives omitted that information and other key facts in an affidavit for a search warrant and didn’t look into other leads before targeting Javed. “They sliced it up in such a way as to make it best presented to the magistrate,” he told Lee Circuit Judge Edward Volz Jr. “This was a fishing expedition for evidence.” But assistant state attorney Dan Feinberg argued everything in the affidavit for search warrant is accurate. He said detectives had good cause to look at the house and at him as a suspect. “The last place the mother of his children was seen was at his house,” he said. Brener also pointed out detectives knew Vicars was in contact with a man from North Carolina through her Myspace Web site, that she had a stalker, that she had had sexual encounters with other area men and that it wasn’t unusual for her to disappear for days. The two were having relationship problems at the time.

Detectives testified they found it suspicious Javed stopped talking when detectives revealed phone records showed he hadn’t made calls from his phone to hers as he claimed. “You cannot penalize someone for exercising a right or it no longer becomes a right,” Brener said of Javed invoking his right to remain silent. Volz didn’t rule on the motion Wednesday.

A roommate of Javed’s, Thomas Carroll Parker, is charged with being an accessory after the fact and is scheduled to enter a plea Dec. 7. He is expected to testify against Javed.