Ira Tobolowsky didn’t live to see his family awarded $5.5 million in a defamation suit. One of the men he sued for defamation is the lead suspect in his murder.

But both co-defendants, Steve Aubrey and Brian Vodicka, were not in court Monday morning when the judge issued a verdict, D Magazine reported.  They moved to Florida and claim they can’t afford the cost of travel.

Before Tobolowsky was found dead in his garage that was set on fire, he represented Aubrey’s mother, Betsy, in a heated court case. Aubrey reportedly harassed his mother and filed several lawsuits against her. Tensions escalated, and Aubrey claimed Tobolowsky was a mortgage fraudster, crooked lawyer and represented pedophiles, among other insults. It wasn’t long before Tobolowsky filed a lawsuit against Aubrey and his partner Vodicka.

Tobolowsky’s family believes Aubrey murdered him as revenge, although police have yet to arrest anyone or press charges.

The judge’s verdict on Monday is a bold statement. Tobolowsky’s family requested $500,000, and visiting Judge Don Cosby awarded them an additional $5 million, D reported.

Aubrey sent two lengthy statements to CBS I-Team about the verdict.

“The Tobolowskys won this lawsuit without us attending and without a witness,” he wrote. “I hope they can move on and stop harassing us. They hired private investigators who trespassed onto our personal residence, brandished loaded firearms and threaten us by screaming, ‘Your in danger!’ The irony does not escape us when it is reported the Tobolowskys feel harassed.”

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