Man beat father to death after fight over TV, claims self-defense, Orange County deputies say

Mario Tarabillo-Justiniano, 32, faces a second-degree murder charge

Mario Tarabillo-Justiniano, 32 (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A man beat his father to death when an argument over a television became physical, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said Mario Tarabillo-Justiniano, 32, frantically called 911 on Saturday, Nov. 28 saying that he had gotten into a fight with his father.

When deputies arrived at the 32-year-old’s apartment in the 4300 block of Urbana Drive, they said they found the father — Mario Enrique Tarabillo, 59 — lying on the floor, his eyes swollen shut and covered in blood. The father was pronounced deceased at the scene, records show. Deputies said it appeared as though he suffered a severe beating prior to his death.

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When investigators questioned, Tarabillo-Justiniano stated that he asked his father for help with a television, according to the arrest affidavit. The man stated that he wanted to buy a new TV, but his father wanted to give him an older one, which led to a shouting match between the two, records show.

The man said his father called him a “piece of (expletive),” then tried to walk past Tarabillo-Justiniano, the affidavit reads. The 32-year-old refused to get out of his father’s way and claims that is when the older man punched him in the face, records show,

Deputies said the man claimed he punched his father in the face three or four times and then threw the 59-year-old to the ground “as hard as he could.”

Investigators said the man claimed he attempted CPR, but changed his account multiple times — first saying that he gave chest compressions for 15 minutes, then saying it was likely closer to 30 minutes.

Deputies said that the father’s injury did appear consistent with someone who was punched three or four times in self-defense, though they did note bruising on the son’s eye consistent with having been punched in the face. They added that the father was in a weakened condition due to a kidney transplant 2 years prior and that he was supposed to receive another surgery in the next 30 days because of complications with that transplant.

Tarabillo-Justiniano now faces a charge of second-degree murder.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.