Pompano Beach Husband Charged with Murder for Wife’s Disappearance
June 30, 2022 Don Pumphrey, Jr. Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Violent Crimes Social Share
A missing person case in Pompano Beach has quickly escalated into a presumed homicide. All signs are pointing at the missing woman’s husband, who lied to the police and never reported his partner missing.
Although the police have reported finding incriminating evidence that hints at the woman’s death caused by foul play, they have still not yet found the body. We will cover the details of the case so far, the potential charges the husband can still face, and the responses from the woman’s family and friends.
Irene Lanning Xeniti, 53, was reported missing by her daughter on May 30th, 2022. Police went to her home in Pompano Beach to investigate, but her husband Ian Lanning, 54, claimed she left on May 14th after an argument.
However, Lanning never reported his wife missing. He also appeared “nonchalant” to the authorities about her absence and their lack of communication. After questioning Lanning they found inconsistencies in his story, and changed the case from a missing person to a homicide.
“He was very nonchalant in suggesting that she left him,” Sgt. Kevin Forsberg said. “That was one of the red flags that stuck out when we tracked their last movements and where their locations were and what they were doing as far up to the 21st.”
According to the arrest document from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, police gained a search warrant for the Lanning home after investigators tracked that Xeniti’s phone was still located in their home as of May 21st at around 1 am. Detectives now believe that Xeniti was killed by her husband on May 21st, and later disposed of in an unknown location. There was also a search warrant for the couple’s vehicle, in which there was evidence found that suggested that Xeniti had been killed and later transported in the car. Although there has been no announcement of the specific evidence left in the household, the police have described it as gruesome.
“There’s a large amount of evidence to indicate that somebody did not leave that house alive,” Sgt. Bryan Tutler said. “We’re still searching for a lot of answers.”
Xeniti’s husband has now been arrested and charged with first-degree murder for the death of his wife. The couple had been together for eight years, and married for two.
Police are still searching for Xeniti’s body, and believe she may have been disposed into a body of water in the area. The intercoastal waterways are their current focus, ranging from Hillsboro Inlet South to the northern end of Broward County.
“It has been an extended period of time since we think this incident occurred, so we’ve had a storm, obviously there have been a lot of tidal changes,” Sgt. Tutler said. “So I don’t want to give a specific area because the area that we probably should be looking in is probably bigger than what we have evidence to show as far as where we think he went.”
The Broward Sheriff’s Office held a press conference on June 14th, asking for anyone with information on Xeniti’s whereabouts to contact them. You can contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.
Domestic Violence Charges in Florida
Domestic violence charges fall under the Florida Statute Section 741.28. In order for a crime to be considered domestic violence, there are several factors that must be met. First, the two people involved in the domestic violence case must have some prior or current relationship with one another. They can currently live together, have previously lived together, or have a child together. Two individuals may qualify as “family or household members” if:
- The two people involved are married
- The two people involved were formerly married
- The two people involved are blood-related
- The two people are related through marriage
- The two people involved reside together as a family, or have resided together in the past
There are also multiple charges that constitute as domestic violence. The following are a list of potential charges that can occur from a domestic violence accusation:
Murder Charges in Florida
The killing of another person is considered a homicide. If the death was intentional and pre-planned, it is considered premeditated murder. Murder is often thought of as the death of another person with malice. Murder charges can range in charges, from first-degree, second-degree, or manslaughter.
If the defendant is accused of first-degree murder, it means that they had planned for the death to take place. There is no specific time that must pass between the premeditation and the actual act of killing another person. First-degree murder is considered a capital felony in the state of Florida, which has extremely harsh punishments. If convicted, the defendant can either face life in prison or the death penalty.
If a homicide occurs where there was no premeditation, but the killing itself was dangerous and showed zero regard for human life, then it is considered second-degree murder. To prove that murder in the second degree has taken place, the prosecution must prove that a person with any ordinary judgment understands that the defendant’s acts would result in serious bodily injury or death to another person. The prosecution must also prove that there was ill will, spite, hatred, or evil intent acted out by the defendant. Lastly, the nature of the killing indicated that the defendant had an indifference to human life. Second-degree murder is considered a first-degree felony, which is punishable with up to a $10,000 fine or up to 30 years in prison.
Manslaughter is considered the death of another person by the negligent actions of the defendant. There are three types of manslaughter: manslaughter by act, manslaughter by procurement, and manslaughter by culpable negligence. Florida Statute Section 782.07 describes manslaughter and its potential penalties. If the defendant is convicted of manslaughter, it is a second-degree felony. The consequences include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.
Xeniti’s daughter, Ashley Griffin, spoke out about her mother’s disappearance and supposed murder. “I’m upset. I’m angry,” Griffin said in a video interview. “I really don’t understand what could make somebody do such a horrific thing especially to my mother.”
Griffin claimed to have not known Lanning very well but was under the impression that the couple was still happy together. “We’ll never be able to speak to her, see her,” Griffin said. “To have somebody taken away so suddenly and so horribly, there’s no words to explain the pain that we feel right now.”
Tasia Tsakonas, a friend of Xeniti’s, spoke to NBC 6 via video conference about her disbelief in her friend’s death:
“I just can’t believe it, I mean why would he do that to her, why would he take her life? If they didn’t get along why didn’t they just split up and let her life? She has kids, grandkids, why would he take her life away? I cannot forgive him for that, that is, I’m so upset over this.”
To read more about domestic violence and the various resources for domestic violence victims, view our page here. If you have any information regarding Irene Lanning Xeniti’s whereabouts, please contact the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida
Getting accused of domestic violence is a serious charge in Florida. There are harsh penalties including expensive fines, potential jail time, and the stigma among family and friends. If a domestic violence dispute ends in death, the consequences are even more severe. If you or a loved one have been accused of a violent crime, reach out to a Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer. Pumphrey Law Firm has represented clients all across the state for various criminal charges. We promise to stand by your side throughout the entire process and work towards gaining your freedom. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message for a free consultation today.
Written by Karissa Key