Jason Kertesz May Have Beaten His Mother to Death With a Baseball Bat, Police Say
|Broward Sheriff's Office|
Irene Kertesz's husband found her dead in her Hollywood home around 9 p.m. July 30 after becoming concerned as to where his wife was a few hours before.
According to the report, John Kertesz -- Irene's husband -- left their home for a trip to the casino around 1 p.m. and stayed there until around 5:30 p.m.
He then drove his friend home and was planning on meeting another friend for dinner until Jason Kertesz called and asked if he was coming home -- a question John Kertesz found strange, the report says.
John Kertesz told his son he wasn't coming home and asked where his wife was. Jason said she was taking a nap, which his father also found out of the ordinary.
Kertesz canceled his dinner plans and came back to the house around 7 p.m. His wife wasn't home, and after trying to call her cell phone and getting no answer, Jason called him back from her phone, police say.
John Kertesz asked where his wife was, and Jason said she must have gone out. An hour later, he called his wife's cell phone again, and his son again told him that he didn't know where she was.
A little before 9 p.m., police say John Kertesz again tried to call his wife's cell phone and there was no answer. He told police that's when he became "very afraid for his wife's safety."
He began checking through the house, finding that a dresser drawer where he and his wife kept personal information had been rifled through and noticing that the door to another bedroom was locked -- although this wasn't unusual, police say, because Jason had a history of stealing money and other things from the house.
John Kertesz picked the lock to the door and found his wife dead, with blood coming from her head.
When police arrived, he said he suspected that Jason had killed his wife. He told them his son had a drug problem -- crack cocaine, he says -- and had previously stolen one of the family's cars to give to a man he owed money to, according to the report.
Irene Kertesz's credit cards and car keys were both missing from her purse, and a paper with the PIN numbers was missing from the drawer, police say.
Police obtained a search warrant and found a recently cleaned baseball bat -- belonging to Jason Kertesz's brother -- that was in a bathtub. Usually, the bat was stored in a bag in a closet, and only family members would know that it was in there, police say.
The cops say they found blood in the area of the bathtub where the baseball bat was found, as well as blood in the sink of Jason Kertesz's bathroom and on a pair of basketball shorts that were on his bed.
Police say Jason Kertesz had taken several cab rides and used his mother's credit cards at ATMs that evening while they were trying to find him and received a Crime Stoppers tip that he was sitting in front of a building looking "distraught."
Kertesz was eventually found and arrested on warrants for his arrest related to a probation violation. In his pockets were four of his mother's credit cards, according to the cops.
Kertesz didn't talk to police, but they did talk to two people who were seen on surveillance video visiting an ATM with him.
They told police they were the ones who called Crime Stoppers. According to the report, Kertesz had told them he had to get rid of his mother's car, and they had both listened to the conversations Kertesz had on the phone with his father the day before.
One of the two people confronted Kertesz about killing his mother, and he told police that Kertesz began to cry and said, "I just snapped."
Kertesz now becomes the third person in less than a month to be arrested in the deaths of one or more parents -- joining 17-year-old Tyler Hadley and 21-year-old Gerard Lopes.
Kertesz also has a criminal history -- he was first sentenced to prison in November 2001, serving just six months of a one-year sentence for grand theft, unarmed robbery, and false imprisonment before being released, Florida Department of Corrections records show.
In 2006, he was involved in a police chase, which Broward Sheriff's Office records from the time say started after Kertesz carjacked someone in Hollywood and the owner of that car later spotted it in Pembroke Pines.
While deputies were verifying with Hollywood police the circumstances of the carjacking, Kertesz got in the car and drove off, leading a police chase down Interstate 95 into Miami-Dade County.
Kertesz eventually got off the interstate, crashed into a tree, and forced police to pull him -- as well as his handgun and crack pipe -- out of the car.
He was sentenced to four years in prison for that stunt but served just over three years before being released.
Kertesz was scheduled to stay on probation until April 2015, but his probation was suspended a few months ago and a warrant was put out for his arrest after he left his court-ordered sobriety house.
He now faces one count of premeditated murder.
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