The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Crime, International

[WATCH] Bizarre Motive in Double Homicide Case: Psychiatrist and Son Brutally Murdered

Michael Hawthorne

FLORIDA – The quiet and affluent neighbourhood of Coral Gables, Miami, was thrust into the spotlight as the details of a heinous double homicide unfolded. Dr Paul Jarett, an esteemed psychiatrist, and his son Greg were found brutally murdered in their own home in 2003, sending shockwaves through the community.

The case took a peculiar twist as investigators unravelled a motive that seemed almost too bizarre to be true. The focus shifted from the gruesome crime scene to an unexpected source within Dr Jarett’s professional circle.

Dr Jarett, an 82-year-old well-respected figure in the psychiatric community, had been running his private practice alongside office manager Maria Catabay. Little did he know that behind the scenes, a financial scandal was brewing. Unusual transactions from the practice’s bank account led Dr Jarett to discover that Maria Catabay had been embezzling funds.

This revelation, however, did not lead to immediate consequences for Maria. Despite catching her in the act, Dr Jarett, displaying an unexpected compassion, chose not to press charges against Maria. Instead, he opted to give her a second chance, albeit with restrictions on her involvement with the practice’s finances.

Tragedy struck when Maria, feeling overwhelmed by guilt and financial troubles, wrote a lengthy letter confessing her embezzlement and handed it to Dr Jarett. Unbeknownst to her, this letter would play a pivotal role in the dark events that followed.

The plot thickened as the court revealed that Maria’s boyfriend, Juan Carlos Fernandez, along with his accomplices, had embarked on a burglary mission to retrieve the confession letter. However, the situation spiralled out of control when they resorted to violence, ultimately murdering Dr Jarett and his son in cold blood.

The court heard conflicting narratives during Maria Catabay’s trial, as she denied any knowledge of the violent outcome. Prosecutors argued that she was equally responsible for the murders, suggesting that she knew violence was a possibility when she sent the burglars to the Jarett home.

The trial concluded with Maria being found not guilty of the murders but convicted of armed burglary. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison, leaving the community and the family of the victims with a sense of closure, tinged with the lingering question of just how a seemingly routine embezzlement case took such a dark and twisted turn.


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