Fort Worth man died after being placed in headlock, M.E. rules

Posted Thursday, Apr. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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FORT WORTH -- James Luttrull awoke about 4:30 a.m. March 24 to his dog barking and a Tarrant County deputy standing outside his door alongside his 22-year-old stepson.

Boyd "Scott" Tobol, the deputy explained, needed a place to stay the night after he had been involved in an argument at his mother's house.

No laws were broken, the deputy said, but Tobol needed a place to stay while everyone cooled off.

Later that afternoon, Luttrull dropped Tobol back at his mother's house in unincorporated Tarrant County. Tobol planned to pick up his car and leave with his fiancee and their 1 1/2-year-old son, Elijah, Luttrull said.

"I told him I loved him and said see you later," Luttrull recalled.

A few hours later, when he hadn't heard from Tobol, Luttrell sent him a text, asking, "You alive?"

Tobol's fiancée immediately called back.

"Within no longer than a minute, she called me, crying hysterically," Luttrull said. "She said, 'Why you'd send that?' I said, 'I'm just checking on him. Where's he at?' "

"She said, 'I think Carl killed him. They got into a fight. He wasn't breathing when they took him in the ambulance."

Paramedics were able to get Tobol's heart beating again but two days later, family members made the decision to remove him from life support after determining that he was essentially brain dead.

The Tarrant County medical examiner's office has now ruled his death a homicide, caused by brain damage suffered as the result of a lack of oxygen while being held in a headlock.

Carl Eugene Molsbee, who has been described as both the boyfriend and husband of Tobol's mother, has been charged with aggravated assault with serious bodily injury in the case. Prosecutors are weighing whether to seek a murder charge.

"We are in the process of getting the autopsy results and, once we receive and review them, we will determine how to proceed," said Melody McDonald, a spokeswoman with the Tarrant County district attorney's office.

Chief Deputy Mike Simonds said witness statements indicate that, upon entering his mother's house in the 900 block of Coneflower Trail, Tobol ran past his fiancee and into a bedroom, followed by Molsbee.

"He had insulted a family member the night before and [was] told not to come back," Simonds said.

Simonds said by the time Tobol's fiancee and mother entered the bedroom, Tobol and Molsbee had already gone "hands on."

Both women left the room, Simonds said. "When they came back, that's when they saw the victim unresponsive."

Deputies began performing CPR until paramedics arrived.

Luttrull said Tobol had been staying at his mother's house after his car broke down during a visit. He said he believes that Molsbee should be charged with murder.

Molsbee weighs more than 300 pounds, he said, while Tobol weighed roughly 145.

Luttrull said he had raised Tobol since he was a child and still considered him his son, even though he and Tobol's mother divorced years ago.

Tobol and his fiancee had recently begun planning their wedding, he said.

Now, his family is trying to scrape together money to plan his funeral.

They want to show a video memorial of Tobol's life, set to the song, A Thousand Years, from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.

"They're playing the song they were going to get married to," Luttrull said.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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900 block of Coneflower Trail, Fort Worth, TX
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