May 21, 2018

Brutal Attacks Surface Against Real Estate Agents

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Brutal Attacks Surface Against Real Estate Agents

REALTOR® Safety Month may be over, but two news stories last week reminded real estate professionals that dangers lurk. 

Last week, a 19-year-old Kansas City, Mo., teenager confessed to killing a real estate agent he met through an ad on Craigslist. The teenager, Ali Cubba, pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced up to 15 years in prison.

According to police, Cubba stabbed real estate agent Yuri Ives, 48, over 23 times and then shot him in the head twice on Feb. 28, 2011. Cubba was 17 years old at the time. 

Prior to the sentencing, Ives asked the court for forgiveness. “My actions that night were so out of character. I couldn’t even recognize myself,” Cubba told the court.

Cubba had gone to Ives’ home with the intent to rob him but a struggle emerged, according to police reports. 

Also last week, news stories surfaced about a 70-year-old REALTOR® from Rutherford, N.J., murdered last month. Barbara Vernieri was beaten in her home on Sept. 14, and police say her body was later lit on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence. 

Daniel Rochat, Vernieri’s boss’ son, was arrested and charged in connection with the murder. 

Rochat, who also has a real estate license but sold only five homes in the last five years, had done business with Vernieri. He and Vernieri were co-brokers on a deal that closed in July. Some speculate that deal had turned sour. 

Sources: “Boss’ Son Arrested in Murder of Elderly Rutherford REALTOR,” WPIX (Oct. 6, 2012) and “Teen Sentenced in Killing of KC Real Estate Agent,” Associated Press (Oct. 5, 2012)