Trial Begins for "Ice Cream Man" Murder

To some neighborhoods of Fort Lauderdale, Larry Daughtery was known as the local ice cream man. Yesterday he was introduced to jurors as an ice-cold murderer.

If what Broward prosecutors are saying is true, Daughtery's tale is like a real-life and way-less-campy version of the Clint Howard flick Ice Cream Man. They allege that back in 2008, Daughtery stalked and killed his then-girlfriend, Diana Lawhorn. What's more, they say, the 47-year-old committed the murder in front of Lawhorn's two toddler sons and left them with the body.

According to prosecutors, Daughtery paid off locals with crack cocaine to spy on her. He discovered he was being cuckolded -- an obvious motive.

Lawhorn was discovered on May 5, 2008, after two friends reported that she had not shown up for work. When BSO officers arrived, knocks went unanswered. When they peeped in the windows, they saw the two kids, 2 and 3, sleeping in separate beds. Lawhorn, who had been dead for 20 hours, was found in a different bedroom.

Officers obtained a warrant for Daughtery the next day, by which time he had fled north to Lake City in his ex-girlfriend's minivan. They were then contacted by detectives there about a man who had checked into the hospital with serious injuries but refused to give his real name. Daughtery told his family and the officers who questioned him that he had been mugged in South Florida. His story didn't add up.

According to the Sun Sentinel, the defense team was able to poke some holes in the prosecution's case. Two witnesses admitted to using crack, and a third was testifying in hopes of a reduced prison sentence for an unrelated crime.

Daughtery is currently being held in Broward County Jail without bond. If convicted for first-degree murder, he faces life in prison.

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