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Charge Filed in Musician's Death Print-ready version

by James F. McCarty
Miami Herald
December 3, 1987

A Wilton Manors night club manager accused of beating to death world-famous jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder.

The Broward state attorney's office disregarded a call by suspect Luc Havan to present his side of the story to a grand jury, and filed the charge directly against Havan.

Pastorius, 35, who grew up in Fort Lauderdale, was hailed as a jazz inovator for his work with Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Sly Stone and Blood, Sweat and Tears. He had fallen on hard times in recent years, though, drinking heavily and living in the streets.

About 4 a.m. on Sept. 12, Pastorius had tried to enter the Midnight Bottle Club in Wilton Manors. He was barred, but confronted manager Havan, 25, of Oakland Park. Havan shoved Pastorius, who fell and was knocked unconcious, Havan told police. Pastorius received a fractured skull and facial bones, a severely injured eye and arm and internal bleeding. He died Sept. 21.

Havan was booked on the new charge and released on $5,000 bail. A previous charge of aggravated battery was dropped.

Havan's attorney, Robert J. Fogan, said he is convinced the evidence will show that Pastorius' injuries were inflicted by somebody else prior to his meeting Havan.

"Luc Havan didn't inflict the injuries on Mr. Pastorius. It will all come out at the trial -- there's not going to be any hiding in this," said Fogan.

Although he has not seen the autopsy report for Pastorius, Fogan said he expects it will show that the fatal injuries were internal and that Havan could not have inflicted them.

Prosecutors, after considering the evidence, decided Havan acted "in the heat of passion" and with a "depraved mind regardless of human life" -- two elements necessary for second- degree murder. If convicted, Havan faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Havan, who continues to work parttime at the night club, will plead not guilty at his arraignment next week, said Fogan.

"He feels terrible about this accident even though in his own mind he knows he didn't cause it," said Fogan

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