Tuesday, June 6, 2006 Print This | Email This     

Prosecutors: Son killed father for inheritance, then learned he was cut from the will By Bo Rosser, Court TV

(Court TV) — With an eye on his inheritance, a 38-year-old son plotted his father's death, only to find out weeks later he had been cut out of his family's will, according to police.

Christopher David Lunz faces the death penalty for planning and participating in his 56-year-old father's murder on March 6, 2003. Opening statements in his murder trial are expected to begin Tuesday.

Lunz enlisted his roommate, William Westerman, in his plan for riches, according to the indictment filed in the Sixth Circuit Court in Pinellas County.

The pair drove from North Carolina to Florida packing a 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun in a 1997 Oldsmobile before being allowed into the victim's Palm Harbor home, according to police. Once inside the home, Lunz allegedly held his father, David James Lunz, in a headlock and then ordered Westerman to shoot.

Westerman is expected to testify that he fired one shot into the victim's skull and then fled with Lunz. The roommate pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and avoided the death penalty.

Lunz, who is representing himself in the case, is expected to deny involvement in the murder but will face two witnesses who claim otherwise, according to police.

Westerman's on-again, off-again girlfriend, Sarah Martini, told police Westerman described the killing in detail when he visited her on her birthday — just three days after the shooting.

Martini said Westerman admitted pulling the trigger after she asked about a cut on his head. The kickback of the shotgun lacerated his forehead, according to Martini's statement to police.

Police tracked Lunz through his father's stolen handgun — a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson, which turned up in a lake in North Carolina, near where his son lived with Westerman.

Two weeks after his father's murder, Lunz contacted his family's estate attorney who told him he had specifically been written out of his father's will, according to police.

The death-penalty trial, which is expected to last one week, is being shown live on Court TV Extra.