One of three suspects arrested in the Dec. 7 abduction of Alexandria attorney Kenneth Labowitz, died July 20 while at Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg. Frederick Baruday, 74, died of natural causes.
In a Feb. 15 competency hearing, Baruday was ruled incompetent to stand trail. The doctor who examined him said that he had early state dementia and possible schizophrenia. He also had a heart condition. In June, Baruday had a second competency hearing in which he was again ruled incompetent to stand trial. The exact cause of death is not known at this time.
Baruday’s aunt, Eloise O’Connor, was at the center of the bizarre kidnapping plot. David Kluttz, a neighbor of O’Connor, was trying to fraudulently change her will so that he and Baruday would benefit. When an Alexandria court appointed Ken Labowitz to oversee O’Connor’s estate, Kluttz’s plans were thwarted.
So Kluttz put together a bizarre plan to kidnap Labowitz, to persuade the attorney to let the two men inherit the O’Connor estate. To accomplish the crime, Kluttz enlisted the help of Baruday and Aubrey "Mike" Berryman, who was later sentenced to 24 years for his role in the crime. Kluttz is slated to be sentenced on Aug. 23.
“Mr. Baruday and I were on good, reasonably good, terms before this happened,” said Labowitz. “I don’t think he would have done something like this on his own.”