Crime

He fought her to get her car keys. He eventually got a knife in the chest.

Janae Jarrell-Moody
Janae Jarrell-Moody Broward Sheriff's Office

A Pembroke Pines woman is charged with murder after stabbing a career criminal who tried to rob her in a motel parking lot, leaving her to plead with passing Sunday morning drivers for help.

That’s according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, which says a video shows what happened in West Park between Janae Jarrell-Moody, 32, and Herbert Butler, 55. That’s also Jarrell-Moody’s account in her arrest report. So why was Jarrell-Moody charged with murder?

BSO detectives say when Jarrell-Moody came back to her car after no one helped her, she “armed herself with a knife instead of leaving the scene in her car,” the arrest report says. “Jarrell-Moody, while armed with the knife, then sought out the victim, confronted and stabbed him while he posed no threat to her.”

Between Sept. 27, 1983, and Dec. 31, 2018, Butler was housed by the Florida Department of Corrections 10 times for charges ranging from aggravated assault to burglary to selling drugs. His living quarters Sunday were The Corner Hotel, 4054 Pembroke Rd.

Herbert Butler.jpg
Herbert Butler Florida Dept. of Corrections

Jarrell-Moody told BSO detectives though she sometimes spent the night with Butler there, their relationship could be defined as acquaintances and crack buddies who got high together. But, she said, what she really wanted when she dropped in at Butler’s room at 7 a.m. Sunday was to charge her phone.

Butler asked if he could borrow her car, Jarrell-Moody told BSO. Though she said she’d let him drive her car before, this time, she denied his request. He told her to get out.

Jarrell-Moody said once she was in the parking lot, Butler grabbed her and her purse. She extricated herself and, while Butler flung her purse’s contents around the parking lot, ran to Pembroke Road to flag down some help. When she found no help, she went back to her car, got out a knife and went to find Butler.

“Jarrell-Moody stated that she was angry and began swinging the knife at the victim,” the arrest report says. “Jarrell-Moody stated that she only wanted to scare him. Jarrell-Moody stated that she saw the victim bleeding and realized that she stabbed him. Jarrell-Moody stated that she then went to her car, called her father and drove to her father’s residence.”

Jarrell-Moody’s father called BSO while his daughter waited.

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Hotel surveillance video, BSO said, shows Butler chasing Jarrell-Moody and fighting with her, then Jarrell-Moody running toward Pembroke Road. Three minutes and 44 seconds later, she returns to the car and gets the knife out of the glove compartment as Butler is taking out his trash.

A second surveillance camera, BSO says, shows Butler walking back to his room with a trash can lid in one hand and a trash can in another as Jarrell-Moody appears. Suddenly, Butler’s brought a trash can to a knife fight. Jarrell-Moody charges and lances him in the left side. She leaves. Butler collapses 26 seconds later.

“A review of the video clearly shows that (Jarrell-Moody) was being battered by (Butler), but the altercation ended and (Butler) fled the scene on foot,” the arrest report reads.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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