Debra Villegas' Daughter Explains Life With Tony

Among the hundreds of pages of Broward County court documents recently made public regarding the 2008 murder of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler attorney Melissa Lewis, one of the most illuminating is a police interview with Aimee Villegas.

Aimee is the daughter of Debra Villegas, Lewis' best friend and Scott Rothstein's right-hand woman at the firm. Aimee was 21 when Lewis was killed.The Plantation police would soon arrest her stepfather, Tony Villegas, for first-degree murder.

In a March 2008 sworn, taped interview with police, Aimee explained that she wasn't surprised by the allegations surrounding her stepfather. This man, she said, regularly hit her younger brothers and threw toys

at them if their rooms weren't clean.

"He would walk in and start throwing the things at them... [and] if it hit their head, 'Oh well, toughen up, you're a man,'" she remembered him saying. "Or sometimes if he hit them and they'd cry, he'd hit them even more.

"And sometimes he would come in our room, and because one person got in trouble, everyone had to get hit," she said. "And... I understand getting hit with a belt, some parents do that... but when you physically leave bruises on kids' arms and put your hands around their neck, that just wasn't my thing."

Aimee's 14-year-old brother, Caleb, backed up this account. "If my room wasn't clean or I didn't do a chore... he would throw stuff at us," Caleb told police in a separate interview.

Once, Aimee told police that Tony grabbed her by the neck and shoved her against the refrigerator when she went to get a drink.

"You don't [eat] my food; you don't drink or eat in my house unless your mother is here," she said he told her. "If your mom's here, you do whatever, but if I'm here, you do nothing."

According to Aimee, Tony's abuse was also emotional. She and her mother were very close, and she said that angered Tony. He blamed her for troubles he had with Debra.

"He'd go, 'Yeah, it's your fault that your mom's sick, and it's your fault that... if your mom ever leaves me, you're going to pay the price," Aimee told police.

Tony Villegas is in the Broward County Jail awaiting trial for first-degree murder. His attorney, Al Milian, has not responded to the Juice's requests for comment.

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